CONTACT: Chad Richardson
Communications Director
chad@wolf.org
Cell: 651-214-4989

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – In compliance with the executive order of Governor Walz, the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota is now closed to the public through at least the weekend of April 5 to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. As it makes this difficult decision, the Center is adding free online programming over the coming weeks to help support the increasing share of the world’s residents shut in their homes.

The Center had announced earlier this week that it would remain open on weekends, but the Governor’s order released today prompted the Center to revisit that decision.  While the Center will be closed, employees will still be on site seven days a week to provide care for the ambassador wolves.

“The health and safety of our visitors, staff and animals is our top priority,” said the Center’s executive director, Grant Spickelmier.

While the Center’s location in Ely will be closed, a big effort is underway to build additional online tools to educate the world about wolves. Free educational programming begins this week with a weekly webinar focused on the Center’s Exhibit Pack of wolves planned for 9 a.m. every Friday.  This free weekly program will be ongoing for the foreseeable future.

“This kind of free educational programming fits perfectly with our efforts to teach the world about wolves and gives people stuck in their homes something positive to focus on right now” Spickelmier said. “We’re especially thankful to all of our supporters over the years. Their contributions mean that we’re able to offer this kind of programming without charge to people across the world.”

The Center maintains a pack of ambassador wolves at the interpretive center in Ely, Minnesota that are used to teach the public.  For many years, people who cannot get to the Center have been able to look in on the wolves thanks to live webcams that broadcast seven days a week along with occasional fee based webinars.

The new webinars the Center is offering for free starting Friday will provide updates about the pack of ambassador wolves from Wolf Care staff and allow viewers to ask questions live. They will be held every Friday at 9 a.m. Central Time. Links to each week’s webinar will be posted on wolf.org, the Center’s social media channels and to those who subscribe to email updates at https://wolf.org/subscribe/.

The link for the first webinar is https://zoom.us/j/259295035. A free download of Zoom software is required to watch these webinars.

Additional online programming and resources are being developed.  More information on that programming will be posted as it becomes available.