UPDATE: Wolf preserve left devastated by mud slide, two wolves dead

Seacrest Wolf Preserve devestation 4-30-14

Due to the over-abundance of rain recently the pond in the Artic Enclosure at the Seacrest Wolf Preserve overflowed and broke the dam causing a torrent of mud, water and debris to crash down the center and all the way through the 15-acre wolf preserve, taking the life of one wolf, causing one to go missing and thousands of dollars of damage for this non-profit organization.

Cecilia Spears
Published: Monday, May 5, 2014 at 02:26 PM.

CHIPLEY – Tragedy begets tragedy as the missing wolf, Chaco, was put down by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission late on the evening of May 4.

According to Stan Kirkland, Regional Media Officer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission they received a call from the owner of Seacrest Wolf Preserve Cynthia Watkins on the evening of May 1, informing them that one of their wolves had gone missing after tragedy struck in the form of a flood/mudslide due to the over-abundant rains.

On May 2 Kirkland said they received a call that the wolf was spotted near Wausau and on Saturday night they said the wolf was spotted back at the preserve but Watkins was unable to place a collar on Chaco.

On May 3 they were still unsuccessful in capturing Chaco with live traps baited with hamburger, deer and dog food, according to Kirkland.

It was late on the evening of Sunday, May 4, when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation received the call from Washington County Sheriff’s Office informing them that an investigator spotted Chaco near Roulhac Middle School in Chipley.

“We responded with several people at sundown and it was then they made the decision to euthanize the wolf, knowing that the children would be returning to school on Monday morning,” said Kirkland. “We were retrieving the carcass for Mrs. Watkins when we had to assist with another wolf who was trying to get back into the enclosure. We were able to get the wolf safely back into the enclosure without harm.”

He said that Seacrest Wolf Preserve is a Class 2 Facility, permitting for wolves, who are a Class 2 species, however he said that the facility is currently under investigation.

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