Comic Con Day 4! Oh wait…I didn’t go. I was sad when I left the hotel. Kinda like when football season is over. Mopey-face.
When I first saw the schedule for this year’s SDCC I saw that, as usual, there wasn’t much on Sunday in terms of panels that I cared about. I would have loved to see the SyFy Merlin panel but if there was a day to take off, this was it. Normally Sunday is my “floor day” after using the other days for mostly panels. Of course, I also used to go to Preview Night for floor time before it became a frackin’ nightmare to try and get a pass. #dontgetmestarted
So instead of staying around SDCC, I made a reservation at the California Wolf Sanctuary. I have been donating to this organization for a number of years but have never actually visited. So since the Monday tours were all booked, I booked a tour for Sunday. Had to be there at 9:30 and they are about 1.5 hours away so it was another early morning of getting ready, packing, checking out and sitting. But instead of in line or in panels, it was in a car.
Got up there on time. And wow. I can not think of enough good things to say about this experience. Was pure awesome sauce. The tour was for about 30 people-ish? A short in-room presentation about the history of wolves, hunting and their endangered status and where the packs are now that have been re-introduced. The guide was much, much more politically correct than I would have been. Basically – humans suck. We almost obliterated this species because man didn’t want first tier predators around. I hate most humans. Oh…and humans still hunt them. And still want them obliterated. And spend a lot of lobby money to get them off the endangered species list so they can hunt them. Even after there is scientific proof that with the wolves back in the eco system, all of nature actually thrives. But hunters don’t want to hear that. Yeah…humans generally suck.
Another thing we learned: a grey wolf has 1500 lbs (psi i believe is the measurement) of bite pressure. A pit bull or German Shepherd has 700. So…that wolf is ripping your arm out of your socket when they lose wookiee-style!
OH! And there was actually a species of direwolves back in the day! And they were HUGE! So they are not just a fantasy creature made up by George R. Martin in the Game of Thrones. Team Direwolf!!!
Anyway – after that short in room presentation, we went out to the Alaskan Grey Wolf area. But none were out. Sleepy time in the hot weather I guess. So they took us over to the Mexican wolf area. This sanctuary is a big part of the Federal project to re-introduce Mexican wolves to the wild. So they have some that are not part of the tour so that they don’t get used to humans. But they have 3 that will probably not be re-introduced to the wild and that are on occasion shown on tour.
They are 3 girls. So pretty. Because of their coloring and their smaller size (compared to the Alaskan Grey wolf) they are sometimes mistaken for coyotes. They really just look like brown Storms!
They were walking around a lot, marking the fence (which they do my rubbing on it or chewing at it), or rolling around in the dirt. So husky like! The guide was telling us a story about how because they might still be reintroduced , they don’t get the same food as the Alaskan wolves. They get more kibble than meat unless it’s meat they would hunt in the wild such as deer or rabbit. Someone asked about squirrel. He said the wolves generally don’t eat the ground squirrels or crows but they will catch them and play with them to “get their squeaker out” and then they are done with them. O.M.G. – HOW HUSKY-LIKE!!!
He said one of the other females is older and has medical (renal) issues. So she is on a very low-protein diet. But apparently she gets sick of the kibble so she takes it and spreads it out so the crows come and try and eat it and then grabs one and eats it! What a smart buddy ☺
He had funny stories about the wolves and we got some good pics. I wished I had a good camera and not just my iPhone. But oh well. Then we saw that the Alaskan wolves come out so we got to go back to see them. Wow – the first male we saw is HUGE. Huge like Angelus looks like a baby compared to him. (Angelus strongly disagrees with this comparison.) In this area they had 2 females and 2 males. They had other fenced off sections with other packs, a mom and pups, another female who kept getting into fights to try and be alpha. But they were not on tour.
We hung out and waited for the Alaskans and then the 2 females came out. They feed them raw chickens and turkey (but like the kind you get at the store, not feathered or anything), and other stuff I won’t go into because while I understand the Circle of Life, I never like seeing it.
We got to see 1 of the females really close and she was pretty funny – she would stretch for us, yawn, try and catch flies. She seemed very bored by us all ☺ The male went over and found a shady spot and stretched and then laid down like Angelus does when he is done with me and wants to lie down and not be bothered.
We got to hang out for a long time watching them, taking pictures, asking questions. The guide was great. Never felt rushed at all. And it really became clear that wolves are just feral huskies ;)
Oh! And they have the bumper sticker that I saw a long time ago and want so badly! “Little Red Riding Hood Lied” It was stuck to something and not for sale (it was made by Defenders of Wildlife years ago and they told me it was sold out and they never remade them.) I am SO getting back to my project of making this for me ☺
Basically, this tour strengthened my resolve to keep sending my donations to them and this cause. For years and years and years I have only donated to animal /wildlife causes. Mostly to Defenders of Wildlife, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and here. My only human donation in forever was for 9/11. I will continue this and increase it. The damage humans have done and continue to do to this planet and its animal life is disgusting.
Without the ecosystem they help maintain and keep in good health, all of the starving children in Africa, landmine victims in Bosnia, the fight for gay marriage, the fight against gay marriage, human tsunami/earthquake/volcano victims in Haiti/Japan/Chili/Indonesia/Philippines/wherever and the many walks, runs, trots and bracelets to find cures for every disease under the sun, moon and stars will mean nothing in the end unless you want a gray, sterile Blade Runner world. Not to say I won’t donate elsewhere too, but it will always 100% to animals. Period.
If you have a chance to ever visit, I strongly recommend it. Private tours book up well in advance (that’s my next trip!!!) and winter tours book up early too because many people like to see the wolves in the snow (it snows up there a few times a winter.)
We drove back through the town of Julian which is an old gold mining town. Very cute. Saw 2 coyotes and 1 wild turkey on the drive back! Stopped at a vista in the National Forest (you drive through it) and you look out over a canyon named Storm! Canyon (ok, I added that exclamation point!) Stormy wants to know why he wasn’t there too!
Then got back into civilization and saw Captain America which was GREAT. Plus got trailers for John Carter (of Mars) staring Taylor Kitsch (who looks delicious in it) and the new Mission Impossible movie which looks AWESOME! Oh – and if you have not seen Captain America yet but plan to – stay till the credits are OVER. I have friends who didn’t – doh! Avengers Assemble…in July 2012!!! So even though I didn’t spend anytime at Comic Con today, I kept the Con spirit alive by geeking out anyway on both wolves and superheroes.