Top 10 Reasons to Re-visit the Sanctuary!
Perhaps you have been out to the Sanctuary for a visit and think if you've seen it once, you've seen it all! We are here to share with you the Top 10 reasons why you should pay the Sanctuary another visit in 2023. There have been some major changes since 2020 and we would love to see you again! Below you will find a list of the top 10 reasons you should re-visit the Sanctuary this year!
- New wolfdogs! Did you know, since 2020 we have welcomed 20 new permanent resident wolfdogs that call the Sanctuary home? We had our From Alone to Home Rescue in 2020 where we welcomed 10 new wolfdogs. 2021 was a bit quieter with one wolfdog that came and went through adoption. (He was not fit for the Sanctuary life!) 2022 brought 10 new wolfdogs from our Lucky 7 Rescue, and a few months following that rescue, 3 more wolfdogs from a separate situation came along. The new members of the Sanctuary have majorly increased our footprint as well as changed up some wolfdog pairings and moves to different enclosures! Come meet some of the new faces around here and see how they are adjusting to their new forever homes.
- The Visitor Centre! If you visited the Sanctuary prior to the Fall of 2020, you would remember that our Gift Shop/Check-in area was quite small! What you may not have known was that that building was actually a garage that had been renovated into a suitable space. Long story short, we very much outgrew the space and were able to build what is now known as the Visitor Centre. This building has been a game changer for both our staff and our visitors. This beautiful building has allowed us to increase the size of our Gift Shop area meaning we have much more Yamnuska gear available to help you remember your visit and support the wolfdogs. The building provides a place for visitors to take a break from exploring the pathways or perhaps an escape from the elements Mother Nature may throw our way. There is seating available that looks directly into the Cascade enclosure, informational signage to continue learning about the Sanctuary and wolfdogs, as well as indoor washrooms! Grab a hot chocolate or tea while inside and when you are ready, you can head back out onto the grounds to continue exploring.
- Pathway Renovations! In 2020, we announced the Accessibility Pathway Project. We were grateful to secure a grant from the Calgary Foundation that allowed us to renovate our pathways to offer a wheelchair-friendly experience. We aim to create an inclusive experience for all visitors. Our pathways have been levelled with a durable Rundle Fine material. Without taking away from the natural aesthetic of the Sanctuary, we have been able to improve the visitor experience by providing guests with a seamless stroll through the Sanctuary. On top of this renovation, we have also expanded our pathways as the Sanctuary continues to grow. This means new enclosures, more informational signage, and new faces to see.
- Different Seasons! Visiting the Sanctuary a different times of the year really changes up the experience. In the winter, the wolfdogs have their beautiful winter coats, are usually more active with the cooler weather, and the dusting of snow over the Sanctuary is quite the backdrop for the wolfdogs. On the other hand, the summer is a great chance to see the wolfdogs' true body structures and shedding process as they lose about 70 % of their fur in the summer months! We get tons of stunning wildflowers throughout the Sanctuary and the wolfdogs have a lot of fun jumping in and out of their large water tanks! The fall is a photographer's dream! The colours throughout the Sanctuary are a sight to see as the Aspen trees and surrounding foliage turn bright orange, golden yellow, and crimson red. At this point of the year, the wolfdogs' coats are growing in for the winter and their activity levels are beginning to increase as the days get shorter.
- Wild Enrichment Saturdays! Did you know that on the first Saturday of every month, we host a special enrichment activity with one of our packs? This is a unique opportunity to see the wolfdogs enjoying some more novel types of enrichment that they don't experience on a daily basis. We first introduce these sessions in 2022, and they were a huge success. These sessions are included with any admission to the Sanctuary as well as with our Annual Membership! We have a full schedule of Wild Enrichments for 2023 that you can view here!
- New Tour Structure! As part of our Accessibility Pathway Project, we have also been working on a new Tour structure for the Intro Tour. This new structure is just about complete and will offer a wheel-chair accessible tour option! The new structure is in our Galatea Enclosure, which means another ambassador pack to see up close! The new space is larger than our first Intro Tour structure in the Engadine enclosure and is also at ground level, which gets you even closer to the wolfdogs. We are very excited about what is to come with this space and have some exciting plans we will be introducing later in the year.
- New Wolfdog Pairings! With new wolfdogs coming in, pack dynamics changing, and sadly some wolfdogs passing away, there have been some changes to the wolfdog pairings. Some wolfdog pairing changes to note are Ylva and Lark in the Rundle Enclosure. Ylva grew up in the Yamnuska Pack, but as she started to mature, it was clear she would do best with a single male she could bond with. Lark's packmate, whom he was very bonded to, Nakita, sadly passed away in the summer of 2020. Lark and Ylva have done really well together and their bond seems to grow stronger each day! Another notable wolfdog pairing change includes fan favourite wolfdog, Horton! In the winter of 2021, Horton's packmate, Kasha, also passed away. We decided to try something a bit unexpected and were able to pair him into the Cascade Enclosure with Loki and Rue. That means Horton is now in one of the enclosures you'll visit on the Interactive Tour! Horton has made leaps and bounds in his confidence and continues to get more comfortable each day. He is much more relaxed throughout the day and does make some appearances during the tour, which is something we never expected!
- New and Revamped Signage! We have done a total overhaul of all the Sanctuary signage! We have revamped the Wolfdog Bio signs with not only a fresh new design, but also updated bios of all the wolfdogs. These signs will give you a look at who each animal is and where they've come from. We have revamped all our old fact signs and have also added additional informational signage that those that want a bit more of a deep dive into the information. On top of that, we now have some incredible infographic signs if you are more of a visual learner. Make the most of your visit by taking the time to read through the extensive information and get to know the wolfdogs' personalities and quirks.
- New Team Members! We have had a few team members move onto some new endeavours, which means we have some new faces around here! Additionally, since the Sanctuary has expanded substantially, we have increased our team size to ensure we are able to provide the wolfdogs with the best care possible all while ensuring our visitors have a great experience as well! Check out some of the new faces on our About Page!
- Wolfdog Confidence Levels! The wolfdogs are always making progress with their confidence levels as this is always something we are working on with them. Naturally, they are quite shy and timid animals, and many of them have come from less-than-ideal situations resulting in them being even more so shy and unsure of the world around them. We mentioned above that Horton, who was one of the shyest wolfdogs here at the Sanctuary, has made a big leap in his confidence. While he is still a shy guy, it is amazing to see his progress! Paying the Sanctuary another visit is a great way to see how some of the wolfdogs' behaviours have changed over the years.
So, while you may have visited the Sanctuary in the past, we encourage you to come back out and see how much things have changed! You never know how things will continue to evolve and change here at the Sanctuary and you don't want to miss out on some of the above-noted changes the Sanctuary has experienced. We are so happy with how much things have grown around here, which has allowed us to rescue and save more wolfdogs as well as the opportunity to meet all of you from near and far! We hope to see you out for a visit in the near future and can't thank you enough for your support over the years! If you are interested to know more about our visiting options to refresh yourself, you can find all the information at the button below!