Lorne was born in at a zoo in Georgia who breeds a select number of wolf pups to be used for educational purposes and for ambassadors for their species.
Lorne's brother, Wyatt can be seen at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. Lorne is being raised with the hope of using him in educational talks to raise awareness for an often misunderstood animal. Despite media attention that wolves in the wild have stabilized their numbers, they are still very much at risk. Wolf hunting continues to persist, both legally and illegally. Wolves are still stigmatized in society, especially by farmers and ranchers who if merely seeing a wolf will on sight, no matter the threat. This mentality is hurting our intelligent friend, whose relationship and companionship led us to the domesticated dog we have today and love. Lorne visits with the public regularly and even though he's just a pup, he has instantly charmed his way into the hearts of many others who before misunderstood and feared one of our closest ties to the natural world.
Lorne is a subspecies of the Grey (or Timber) Wolf. He was born on April 17th, 2014 (wolves are only born in the spring, unlike domesticated dogs) and until he came to me just shy of 7 weeks was used in meet-and-greets at the Georgia zoo.
In July he went on a trip across the United States from out West to Chicago. Unfortunately once there, he swallowed a small slip lead and had to have a life threatening surgery to remove it. His recovery was remarkable and the vet that preformed the surgery said it was the fastest she had ever seen. Wolves are strong and very adaptable. Their immune system due to their varied gene pool and lack of interbreeding as seen in domesticated dogs, makes them lack the health problems they often do. It was a scary time, but thankfully today you wouldn't even know it ever happened.
I'm working with Lorne every day and I hope that he is able to continue to reach out to the public as he matures. It is common that wolves once establishing a territory upon reaching adulthood have trouble leaving it and feel much more comfortable at home than in strange places. We will see what path Lorne wants to follow in life, but I hope that he will be kind enough to continue to make a positive impression on others and be an ambassador for his species.
Commonly asked questions:
How much wolf is in Lorne?
He's as pure as you can get without taking a wolf from the wild.
Most wolves in the wild are 'contaminated" with domesticated dog DNA, through feral dogs in-breeding. It is impossible to differentiate between the two on a genetic level. Lorne is genetically related to Tundra Wolves (subspecies of grey), which are found throughout Eastern Europe and Russia. The white patch they have on their chest indicates that somewhere, many years ago at least one dog must have been mated with a wolf to cause that patch, and through interbreeding it have become a typical marker in Tundra Wolves. Wild wolves will not readily breed with a dog, so it's very unusual to have a 50/50 cross.
Do wolves make good pets?
No. Wolves do not make good pets, they are not domesticated like dogs. Since wolves aren't domesticated, they are not bred to live along side humans.
Meet Lorne's brother and littermate Wyatt, at Six Flags in California...
During the first week of July, Lorne and I flew into Chicago. Unfortantly while arriving, Lorne swallowed a small slip lead and became obstructed. He had to have emergency surgery which ended up costing thousands of dollars, but without it he would have surely died, so the choice to preform the operation wasn't a choice at all! I was very scared. It was the middle of the night and I was far away in Minnesota visiting some friends. I called every hour to check on him and I can't describe what a relief it was speaking with the surgeon afterwards to hear that everything went flawlessly and that there was no internal damage.
He recovered remarkably quickly and we spent the next week and a half visiting with family and friends all across the Midwest. When it was time to come home- we drove. An unforgettable experience and one I had taken with Sugar Tree, too, when she was just a pup.
We left Indiana on Saturday and made our way to Arizona. We were on the road together for four days and met many different people and places- we even met a Bison in Oklahoma and went to the house that was used in the television series Breaking Bad in New Mexico.
Some places we stopped in included Northwest, Indiana, the Chicago suburbs, Springfield, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, Branson, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas panhandle, Albuquerque, New Mexico and finally home. We even drove past Sugar Tree exit. A road I passed many years ago while on a cross-country trip with a then nine week old Sugar Tree. I'll never forget passing the exit sign and glancing at my little dobie pup and asking, "Sugar Tree?" She looked back at me and that was that. It was strange seeing it again with a new nine week old puppy, after four long years. This time I got out and took a picture on the road. I think I'd like to have it framed.
Despite Lorne's scary accident, we had an incredible trip and it was a very rewarding experience for Lorne to have so many new and unique experiences. Once we returned to Arizona, Lorne's staples were removed and he's 100% recovered. The leash incident was a freak accident and he never developed any chronic problems.
Lorne the wolf as a pup at home...
Think you want to live with a wolf or a wolfdog? Check out this video first. ;)