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

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

CHIPLEY – The recent heavy rains that have pummeled the Washington and surrounding counties led to a tragedy at the Seacrest Wolf Preserve in Chipley.

Seacrest Wolf Preserve owner and operator Cynthia Watkins says the over abundance of rain caused the pond in the Artic Enclosure at the Seacrest Wolf Preserve to  overflow, breaking the dam and causing a torrent of mud, water and debris to crash down the center of the 15-acre wolf preserve. The event took the life of one wolf and left another missing while causing thousands of dollars in damage for the non-profit organization.

“Chaco isn’t dangerous; he’s just not very acclimated to people,” said Watkins of the missing wolf. “We saw him last night, and we hope to lure him back in today. We also have the help of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.”

Volunteers from all around have been working day and night to repair the damage which is estimated to be around $50,000. Watkins stressed the preserve is relying on the generosity and compassion of volunteers to donate time, man-power, supplies and money to the cause.

“We will still be open for tours on Saturday,” said Watkins. “We’ve repaired the visiting area, and our ambassadors are up for visitors. Because we are completely non-profit, this is the only way we will be able to raise the money needed to repair the damage; through donations and tours.”

In addition to monetary donations, the preserve is in need of fencing and laborers. Materials needed include fencing measuring around 10 feet tall and 11 and 1/2 gauge fencing, which is the strongest gauge of fence, fencing posts, claps, wire, logs, rocks, dirt and concrete. Labor volunteers should be adapted to heavy labor because there are rocks and debris needed to be moved and removed .

Anyone interested in making a monetary donation can mail a check to: Seacrest Wolf Preserve; 3449 Bennett Pond Rd.; Chipley, Florida 32428 or donate through their website via PayPal at http://seacrestwolfpreserve.org/howtohelp.php.

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