Preserve dispels myths, educates the public on this fascinating carnivore
Cynthia Watkins, owner of the Seacrest Wolf Preserve has been fond of animals as long as she can remember. A show breeder of Siberian Huskies early on in her career, she became interested in the conservation of wolves in the 1980s. In 1995, Cynthia became involved with the Yellowstone National Park Wolf Reintroduction Program where she experienced her first physical contact with a wolf.
“The experience stoked the fire of conservation in my heart,” Cynthia said beaming with enthusiasm for the animals.
What started off as a small conservation effort in 1999, Cynthia and her husband Wayne now care for 25 pure gray wolves along with several other animals at their preserve.
The primary goal of the Seacrest Wolf Preserve is to provide a safe, humane habitat for displaced wolves. Their interpretive educates visitors on their beauty, intelligence and importance of the animal’s role as a keystone species in their natural environment.
All of the wolves at the preserve were previously captive animals that were injured, mistreated or at once kept as pets. The animals will never be released into the wild, and the pups born at the preserve are relocated to educational facilities across the country.
“The wolves are very close families,” Cynthia explained as she spoke on how each member of the wolf pack, including the males has a role in raising their young.
“They get very excited about their babies,” she continued.
Visitors have the opportunity to go into the habitats and interact hands on with the wolves at the preserve.
Seacrest Wolf Preserve sits within The Oaks Farm in Vernon on 430 acres – 15 acres are wolf habitat, and each habitat is approximately two acres. Spring fed creeks and ponds provide natural watering holes for the wolves.
In addition to the wolf encounter, the preserve also hosts an interpretive on small animals. Artic foxes, lambs, raccoons, skunks and an African Spiney tortoise are the featured, and is geared for smaller children. There is a small gift shop as well.
For more information, pricing and hours, go to www.seacrestwolfpreserve.org
Seacrest Wolf Preserve
3449 Bonnett Pond Rd.
Chipley, FL, 32428