, Salem, MA

Local News

December 16, 2013

Wolf Hollow labors to prevent another escape

IPSWICH — At Wolf Hollow, the fence is a work in progress.

Volunteers have spent hours replacing sections of the 8-foot-high chain-link fence and adding extra security layers, after a pack of six wolves found a weak section on Dec. 6 and made a break for it.

They were quickly recaptured, and the fence has since been secured, said Zee Soffron, assistant director for the nonprofit organization. But the incident has added urgency to the group’s ongoing effort to replace and repair all the fencing on the 31/2-acre property.

By placing collection jars in local businesses and appealing to donors online, the group is hoping to raise $5,000 to complete the immediate work. But the larger project, which has been in the works for two years, is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $75,000.

Soffron said most of the fencing has been there since they got their first wolves.

“We are replacing and fixing what we can,” he said.

The late Paul Soffron started Wolf Hollow in 1988 to promote the preservation of wolves in the wild, by educating the public and exposing people to the animals. The sanctuary is contained by 8-foot-high, double chain-link fencing with overhangs.

Wolf Hollow started with five British Columbia timber wolf pups donated by other facilities in the country. The original five came from three different litters so that a family could be started, according to the organization’s website.

The current pack — Nina, Arrow, Grendel, Argus, Linnea and Nevaeh — ran away around 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 6 when links between the fence and the ground ties unexpectedly broke, Soffron said. The ground ties prevent animals from escaping by digging holes under the fences.

“They never really left the property,” he said.

It took three or four hours to round up all six wolves, which involved volunteers, Ipswich police, environmental police and animal control officers creating a perimeter around the property.

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