Once one of the wolves got close enough, Soffron would put a leash on it and lead it back to the enclosure.
“It is tricky because they are already scared at that point,” he said. “They will only come to people they have been socialized or bonded with. The main concern was keeping them away from Route 133 and close to the property.”
This isn’t the first time this has happened, Nina escaped in 2010 after she apparently climbed a snowdrift high enough to allow her to leap over the fence. She later returned on her own after staff, police and the animal control officer searched for her.
Another wolf escaped about 12 years ago after a fence company cut corners and used chicken wire. That wolf was out for close to 24 hours.
During the recent escape, the Essex County Trail Association posted a “trail alert” on its Facebook page urging users and residents to use “extreme caution.”
“Although kept in captivity, these animals are still considered wild,” the post read.
Soffron, however, said the animals were no danger to the public. If the wolves see someone they don’t know, they’ll just run away, he said.
He said initial fears about the wolves by many people in town have faded away over the years.
“The fact we have residents asking how to help is inspiring,” he said.
Humans hunted wolves into extinction in Massachusetts around 1840, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Wolves are known for their cooperative hunting and sophisticated family structure and social hierarchy. They mate for life, and wolves bring food back to the puppies and elder wolves in the pack.
Wolves are still a threatened species, according to Wolf Hollow.
Wolf Hollow also has three other wolves in different enclosures, including a wolf/dog mix named Bear.