The research project lasted from 1976 until 1991. In 1991 the federal government discontinued funding the research. A couple of the people who were involved in the project wanted to continue to work with the wolves, so they worked with government agencies to form a non-profit 501(c) organization which they called the Wildlife Science Center.
The center has expanded quite a bit since they went on their own. They are still involved in studying the grey wolf, the first two pics are of one of the grey wolf packs at the center, but they also work with other organizations around the world to study and protect other wolf species, such as the red wolf and the Mexican gray wolf, pictured above. Both of these species of wolves are on the US Endangered Species List.
The center also houses several other types of wild canids. These include coyote, red and grey fox, and new Guinea Highland Dog. Many of these animals have been brought to the center when they can not be returned to the wild. Each night as we have been siting in class we have had the wonderful pleasure of hearing the wolves and coyotes howl, which is something that I have only ever heard while we were in Yellowstone National Park.
The center is not only for dogs though, they also have several types of wild cats. These include cougars, also called mountain line or puma, bobcat and Canadian lynx. Bobcats and lynx can still be found in the wild here in Minnesota but it is rare to see a cougar here. On the rare occasion that a cougar has been spotted in Minnesota it is probably one that someone had as a pet until it got too large and wild and then they let it go. This is really bad for the animal, which is not familiar with life in the wild.
The center also has several other types of mammals, such as black bear, porcupine, raccoon, and skunk, as well as reptiles, amphibians and raptors. All of the animals at the center help educate people who visit the center, either for a program, birthday party, or Saturday tour. While the raptors and smaller animals also help educate on off site programs for schools and other organizations. Currently the center is leasing their space, near Forest Lake from the State of Minnesota, however they have purchased some land of their own, a bit further north, and hope to raise enough money so that they can completely build out the new space and move all of the animals to the new permanent space. If you would like to know more about the Wildlife Science Center you can check out their fantastic website HERE.