In the distance, I hear what must be the soft howls of wild beasts. My prehistoric, primal response is to head back in the opposite direction of the noise. But fear not dear reader, I soldiered on to Predators of the Heart and the Wolf Encounter experience, conveniently booked via Airbnb. My caveman ancestors would be proud of my courage.
Nestled on 10 acres in the quaint Pacific Northwest town of Anacortes, Washington lies one of the most unique tourist experiences I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. It must be all the neanderthal traits my 23andme profile tells me I have because I was excited to get in there and mix it up with some wolves!
Wolf Encounter Experience
The day starts in the small office / gift shop. Here, we meet the owner Dave and one of his assistants, Bethany. We’re shown a National Geographic video about wolves on the big screen and then we’re given a little safety briefing.
We’re also treated to a little look behind the curtain at the finances of the operation. Dave is pumped that he doesn’t have to load up the wolves in a trailer and travel the tri-state area to get the word out about these animals.
Today, the influx of cash from a huge increase in bookings (thanks to the Airbnb experience) has made life better for him, the sanctuary, and the wolves. How do I know? Dave logged in to his Airbnb account and showed us his sales dashboard on his laptop! Cha-ching! Good for them, I say!
We take a little walk out of the office and into a little area with metal tables. Oh boy, here they come!
They’re led right up to you and they climb up on the tables. Honestly, they seem really tame, but man my heart was pounding at first!
They get right into your face, just like a dog would. This one licked me twice – here at the picnic tables and then again up at another photo opportunity. We became buds once I found the scratching spot that made him kick his leg. He ended up looking pretty dopey.
On the prowl
Next, we went on a little nature walk to a wooded section of the park. Here they had a deck set up for the wolves to sit nicely while you posed with them.
My wolf buddy licked me some more.
And then grew bored of me (but provided a good look at his chompers).
This one didn’t have much interest in anything other than looking cool as hell.
As a group, we were all encouraged to start howling. After what seemed like forever, the wolves finally started reacting to our howls and gave us a few good ones.
At this point, we were done with the adults and got to meet the wolf puppies! These little ones were rambunctious and liked to bite anything with strings or straps.
They are adorable, though.
Other Animals at Predators of the Heart
Wolves aren’t the only animals at the sanctuary. Even if they are the main attraction, there are still cool animals to see. This parrot was cool!
This fox napped.
The anteater roamed around. I’d never touched an anteater before.
The sloth was more interested in dinner than the tourists.
Dave went in the cage with the big cats. Not my thing. Cats are crazy.
Predators of the Heart Video
Watch the wolves come out and see me play with the wolf pups in this video.
Visit Predators of the Heart
Predators of the Heart is located in Anacortes, Washington. Visit their website for more information. They book all experiences through Airbnb. It’ll cost you around $200 for a few hours with the wolves. They do a brisk business, so make sure to book as far in advance as you can.
More to do:
If you’re looking for more to do in the area, consider: