Public can visit during construction

Contact:
Chad Richardson, communications director
International Wolf Center
Office: 763-560-7374, ext. 225

A dynamic new exhibit is coming to the International Wolf Center to replace the celebrated “Wolves and Humans” exhibit that has been on display at the Center since it opened in 1993.

To prepare for the new gallery, staff are documenting the current exhibit and will dismantle it in February. Beginning February 18, the Wolves and Humans exhibit will be closed to the public. The rest of the Center will remain open to visitors on weekends for its usual winter hours. While the exhibit area will be closed, visitors will still be able to watch the Center’s ambassador wolves, listen to numerous programs in the auditorium and watch wolf-related movies in the theater.

“Board members, wolf biologists, volunteers and staff have been planning with the design team for nearly a year,” said Rob Schultz, executive director. “The innovative exhibit will will use interactive technology and powerful stories to teach kids and adults about the roles that wolves play in ecosystems, and how they are managed to co-exist with humans.”

Since the original exhibit was built in the early 1980’s by the Science Museum of Minnesota, the world has learned much more about wolves. Scientific research is evolving, the climate is changing, research is expanding and biologists now have a deeper understanding of wolves and wolf behavior than when the original display was created.

“The new exhibit will give visitors, especially families, an opportunity to experience wolves in fun, creative ways,” Schultz said. “A howling room will simulate what it’s like to hear wolves at night in the wilderness, an airplane cockpit will recreate the unique birds-eye view that just a few biologists get while tracking and observing wolves from the air, and a science lab will help children of all ages explore the biology of wolves.”

The new exhibit has been made possible through a $1 million grant from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The International Wolf Center Board has been deeply appreciative of support for the project by Representative Rob Ecklund, Senator Tom Bakk, Ely Mayor Chuck Novak, and the Ely City Council.

Installation of the new exhibit will begin in early April, and the staff anticipate it will be open to the public by May 1, in time for the busy summer tourist season in Ely..

The Center’s winter hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

Tireless advocate for wolves in Japan accepts award before her peers and heroes

Contact:
Chad Richardson, communications director
International Wolf Center
Office: 763-560-7374, ext. 225
chad@wolf.org

For Immediate Release – January 17, 2019

It was clear to the entire audience that Narumi Nambu had just received the surprise of her life.

In a packed hotel ballroom in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA during the International Wolf Symposium, Nambu had just been named the recipient of the Who Speaks for Wolf Award presented by the International Wolf Center.

As she walked toward the stage to accept the award, Nambu’s hands covered her mouth in excitement. “I thought it was a mistake when I heard my name, especially since Japan has not approached the world level of wolf conservation,” she said. “Because my country no longer has any wolves, it can only take from the world but cannot reciprocate”

Nambu earned the award for her work with the Japan Wolf Association. She’s an active member of the association, which aims to have wolves reintroduced in Japan. Nambu has translated multiple wolf books into Japanese, researches Japanese attitudes about wolves and their possible reintroduction there, speaks at conferences and publishes in a variety of forums.

“There were many researchers and educators from all over the world at the symposium,” Nambu said. “I was walking on air when I could speak and talk directly with these people. There were many experiences and ways to learn at the conference other than from formal papers about human and wolf society. At the banquet many of my heroes were gathered.”

Dr. L. David Mech, the founder of the International Wolf Center, had this to say about Nambu’s efforts: “I have known Narumi since the Center’s 2013 International Wolf Symposium, and she is one of the most passionate and enthusiastic supporters of wolf reintroduction into Japan.”

This is the first time in International Wolf Center history that the Who Speaks for Wolf Award has been given to a recipient from Asia. The Center’s Executive Director, Rob Schultz, was thrilled to see Nambu earn the award.

“Narumi’s efforts in Japan illustrate that wolves across the world play a vital role in our ecosystems,” he said. “The work she’s doing there is all too familiar to those who have done similar work in North America. We’re honored to present her with this award and thrilled to celebrate her success in front of her peers.”

The Japan Wolf Association (JWA) was formed in 1993. The JWA estimates that animals with no natural predators left in Japan, mostly sika deer and wild boar, have caused the equivalent of $1.8 billion in agricultural and forestry damage to date.

Preserving the environment for future generations in Japan motivates Nambu to continue her efforts for wolf reintroduction.

“I love my own country, Japan,” she said. “I want to leave the nature of Japan in a beautiful condition for the next generation. In biology I learned that wolves are important in nature. But Japanese society must learn how to relate with wild animals. I believe that connects with the happiness of people in the future.”

Nambu was quick to point out that she’s one small part of a big organization working hard at reintroducing wolves in Japan.

“More than me, there are other people in Japan who have worked longer and harder for wolf reintroduction—for example, Dr. Naoki Maruyama, leader of the Japan Wolf Association, along with my husband, Hiroshi Asakura, and local wolf educators,” she said. “This award is not only for me but for all of them, as well. I hope to be only the representative. This award is not like the goal tape at the end of a race, but instead it is the starter gun.”

The annual “Who Speaks for Wolf” award is given by the International Wolf Center to an individual, who has made exceptional contributions to wolf education, by teaching people how the wolf lives and by placing the wolf in the broader context of humankind’s  relationship to nature.

# # #

THE INTERNATIONAL WOLF CENTER, founded in 1985, is known worldwide as the premier source for wolf information and education. The mission of the Center is to advance the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future.

The Center educates through its website, its ambassador wolves, museumexhibits, educational outreach programs, International Wolf magazine, and a beautiful interpretive center in Ely, Minnesota.

For Immediate Release – April 5, 2017

1,000,000 VISITORS

International Wolf Center’s interpretive center in Ely passes one million visitor mark

Ely, Minn.  The International Wolf Center achieved an important milestone on Saturday evening, March 25, when the one-millionth visitor passed through its doors during the weekly “What’s For Dinner” program.

“We’ve been incredibly excited for this day,” said Rob Schultz, executive director.  “For the past several weeks our staff have been anxiously watching the attendance records as we anticipate our one-millionth visitor.”

To celebrate reaching the one-millionth visitor mark, the Center will hold a special Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22, with half-price admission, refreshments, family activities and special programs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The International Wolf Center has been welcoming visitors to its Ely Interpretive Center since opening in July, 1993.  During its first few years, attendance numbers were very high as people came to see the new facility.  But by the late 1990’s, attendance began to decline.

Recent efforts to increase promotion and offer new exhibits each year have had a positive effect on bringing more people to Ely and through the Center’s doors, with last year’s attendance increasing by 27% to 44,381 guests – making 2016 the largest attendance at the International Wolf Center since 2004.

“It hasn’t been easy to turn things around,” said Schultz. “While pup years bring more guests through the door, we’ve had to find other new ways to promote ourselves, to draw excitement for our programs and Ambassador wolves, and to expand the kinds of special exhibits to attract new audiences.”

With grant funding from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB), recent collaborations with local northern lights photographer Heidi Pinkerton have boosted attendance.  This upcoming summer, the Center’s advertising campaign will feature Axel and Grayson, two arctic wolves who have grown significantly over the winter months after arriving from Canada last spring as three-pound pups.

For information about the Earth-Day celebration at the Center, visit www.wolf.org

 

# # #

 

THE INTERNATIONAL WOLF CENTER, founded in 1985, is known worldwide as the premier source for wolf information and education.  The mission of the Center is to advance the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future.

The Center educates through its website wolf.org, its ambassador wolves, museum exhibits, educational outreach programs, International Wolf magazine, and a beautiful interpretive center in Ely, Minnesota.