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Atka the Wolf Has Dobbs Ferry Howling

Wolves are animals that children are taught to be scared of, but a room full of children were more than excited to meet a wolf in person at Dobbs Ferry Public Library Wednesday.

The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) was at the Dobbs Ferry Public Library Wednesday, May 25 to give a presentation on wolves. The room in the library where the event was held was packed with young children who were jumping with excitement to see a wolf up close. Maggie Howell and Sue Massi were the two handlers of the "ambassador wolf," who is named Atka.

"We [WCC] are a little wolf haven up in South Salem, N.Y. in northern Westchester," Howell said. "We're home to 25 wolves by the end of this week."

The Center currently houses 23 wolves, but will be receiving two new wolf puppies on Friday, May 27 to boost that total to 25.

Howell took the lead for the demonstration and gave a 45 minute PowerPoint presentation on everything wolf related. Howell said there are actually no wild wolves in Westchester, but there are coyotes, foxes and of course their closest relatives; dogs.

After her presentation, Massi brought in Atka on a leash for everyone in attendance to see. With strict guidelines for the audience's safety, no one was allowed to touch the wolf. Atka was born in captivity and just turned nine as he is the go to wolf for all of the center's shows.

"Atka is the only wolf that travels," Howell said. "[He] probably will be our only wolf that will ever travel because that's not an easy feat for a wolf to do."

The Wolf Conservation Center was founded to help promote learning about wolves and what people can do to help their growth in wildlife. With the center's help some wolves are treated and returned home.

"The other wolves are part of a recovery program and some of them are candidates for release into the wild," Howell said.

Atka and the Wolf Conservation Center can be seen in demonstrations at schools, libraries, museums and other places. For more information on the organization, visit the official website .

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