All The Wolves, Foxes and Coyotes We Saw During Our Visit to Indiana’s Red Wolf Sanctuary


If you go about an hour outside of Cincinnati past flat Indiana farmland and the quaint, riverside town of Rising Sun, you may hear howls resound. Those can likely be traced to Red Wolf Sanctuary.

The nonprofit that was established in 1979 is “dedicated to the preservation and continued existence of North American wildlife,” according to their webpage. 9 wolves, 10 coyotes, 16 red foxes, three bobcats, two elk, four black bears, one striped skunk, and a few raptors call this 450-acre property their home. You might also find opossums, Green Herons, otters and beavers.

Paul Strasser oversees the rehabilitation center.  Each animal has a different story about how they got there. Some were displaced. Some were surrendered from owners who tried to keep them as pets. Others were found injured or abandoned.

Though the staff is small, the organization has released hundreds of native species and saved thousands of animals since it started. Some of the animals are released back into the wild after full rehabilitation, if possible.  Most recently, the center on Nov. 15 released a juvenile bald eagle named Freedom. When he was found, he was starving and couldn’t fly. But on the day he returned to the wild, he soared.

Upcoming events to help support the sanctuary include a Thanksgiving Feeding Frenzy Nov. 24 where guests can throw turkey legs over the fence to some of their animals. (The event is limited to 30 people). The sanctuary is also hosting Saturday with Santa, a Dec. 15 holiday bash with hot cocoa, reindeer food creation station, a silent auction and tours. With the donation for a tour, guests can snag free photos with Mr. Claus himself.

Prices are as follows: $30 donation for adults; $20 for teens; $10 for kids. Walking tours last between 2-3 hours. Aside from special events, tours are scheduled by appointment only.

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| Photos by Mackenzie Manley and Mary Andrikus