Called by the wild: Pa. wolf sanctuary inspires a novel
In the 1920s, cattlemen in the west, aided by the federal government, waged war against the wolf to stem herd loss.
A Pennsylvania physician with an interest in wildlife asked the Biological Survey to spare four wolf pups. He had them shipped to his home in Kane, where he cared for them, bred them, and created a tourist attraction along Route 6. There he educated the public about wolves, which could be seen in their natural habitat.
"My parents and grandparents took me to see the Kane Lobo Wolves when I was a very young child," recalls Nancy A. Avolese on her Amazon.com page. "They left quite an impression on me. I often wondered what had happened to them over the years."
The Middletown resident, who worked for the School District of Lancaster, was able to find out, and she shares her knowledge in a new book, "The Wolf Man of Kane, Pennsylvania: An Historical Novel About Doctor Edward H. McCleery and His Lobo Wolves."
Before she wrote the book, she wrote an award-winning thesis on the wolves while working on a master's degree in American Studies at Penn State University.
Interviewing people in Kane who had known the doctor, she learned he was a kind, gentle man who wanted to prove "wolves could live in harmony with humans and there was no need to destroy them." His tourist attraction lasted more than 40 years, and descendants of the original pack live in Montana today, she writes.
"Today as the Federal government again is challenging the survival of the wolves by removing them from protection under the Endangered Species Act, we must learn from the past to protect our own future," she writes.
The 178-page paperback is priced at $15.95 and available online.n