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‘Red Wolf Revival’ screening & discussion

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on ‘Red Wolf Revival’ screening & discussion

(Note: This event occurred Nov. 10, 2016 at the Saint Louis Science Center. Other screenings will continue to take place nationally. Please visit redwolfrevival.org and click on “Screenings” for a calendar of when and where they will occur.)

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A red wolf dad with pups. Photo by Greg Koch.

The Saint Louis Science Center and the Endangered Wolf Center are partnering to present “Red Wolf Revival,” the award-winning short documentary by the Nestbox Collective and Susannah Smith.

Open to the public, the screening will take place Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Saint Louis Science Center at 5050 Oakland Avenue. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Following the film, there will be a panel discussion, featuring prominent voices in the red wolf survival story (listed below) and Roshan Patel, the director of the film.

Tickets are available for $10 for members of either institution or $15 for non-members. To purchase tickets, call 314-289-4424 or visit any box office at the Saint Louis Science Center.

A cash bar and snacks will be available.
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“Red wolves are the only large carnivore species that is solely native to the United States … truly ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ They are more American than apple pie and baseball combined, yet most Americans don’t realize that red wolves exist, let alone that they are on the brink of extinction.” said Virginia Busch, Executive Director of the Endangered Wolf Center.

“Red Wolf Revival” has received several awards, including Best Conservation Film and Best Short Film by the International Wildlife Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Progeny Film Festival.

The short documentary details the struggles facing the last remaining wild population of the American red wolf. Once native to Missouri and the entire Southeastern United States, red wolves are now on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 50 left in the wild. The film is centered on the historic recovery effort in Eastern North Carolina, and documents the multifaceted struggle to reintroduce one of the rarest animals on earth in the face of cultural, economic and biological challenges in North Carolina. The film director sat down with landowners, writers, scientists, nature centers and concerned citizens to examine the cultural landscape in the region, how the story became urgent, and explore the implications of the changes to come.

web-red-wolf-revival-filming“Saving endangered animals takes a high level of science expertise,” said Pamela Braasch, Director of Education Programs for the Saint Louis Science Center. “The Science Center is very excited to partner with the Endangered Wolf Center in raising awareness of the plight of the red wolf and highlighting the science behind saving the species.”

For more information the film, the film trailer, and upcoming events, visit redwolfrevival.org

Meet the Panel

Roshan Patel, award-winning documentary filmmaker
Patel is a filmmaker deeply rooted in conservation storytelling. His films about critically endangered species such as Asiatic lions and red wolves have been selected for festivals around the world and have won Best Short, Best Documentary and Best Conservation Film awards. His work has also been featured on National Geographic’s short film showcase. “Red Wolf Revival” will be on PBS in early 2017. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Red Wolf Recovery Program based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Tom Meister – Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation
Meister has been with the Conservation Department for 25 years, starting with Volunteer Naturalist, Naturalist, Visitor Center Manager and Interpretive Programs Supervisor. For the past 15 years, he has been a Wildlife Damage Biologist, providing education, technical evaluations and training to Missourians who are experiencing conflicts with wildlife. He is also a member of response, research and relocation teams for mountain lions, feral hogs, black bears and elk.

Regina Mossotti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation

Mossotti is a carnivore biologist who has worked with large carnivores for over 12 years. She has worked with many different species, from wolves in Yellowstone to mountain lions in California. She began her work at the Endangered Wolf Center as Director of Animal Care and Conservation six years ago. Regina currently sits on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) Management Teams for the red wolf, Mexican wolf and African painted dog. SSPs help save critically endangered species through research, education, conservation and husbandry.

Ashley Rearden, Director of Education

Rearden graduated from St. Louis University with a B.A. in Communication and with a Juris Doctor Degree from St. Louis University’s School of Law and passed the Missouri bar exam that fall. Her passion for animals and education led her to the Endangered Wolf Center in 2012. As Director of Education and as an Education Adviser for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, she works with organizations and schools across the country to develop education tools that help spread awareness about the critically endangered red wolf.


About the Saint Louis Science Center

The mission of the Saint Louis Science Center is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning. It is one of the top 15 science centers worldwide and was named one of the Top 10 Science Centers for Families by Parents magazine. The Saint Louis Science Center complex includes a four-story OMNIMAX® Theater, Boeing Hall and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. For more information about the Saint Louis Science Center, please visit www.slsc.org.


About the Endangered Wolf Center

The Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri, just outside St. Louis, is the premier wolf conservation, education, reproduction, and research center in the United States. Its mission is to preserve and protect Mexican wolves, red wolves and other wild canid species, with purpose and passion, through carefully managed breeding, reintroduction and inspiring education programs. The Center was founded in 1971 by Marlin Perkins and his wife, Carol. Perkins is best known as the longtime host of television’s “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.” The Endangered Wolf Center is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) certified facility and is a 501(c)3 non-profit. For more information go to: www.endangeredwolfcenter.org and follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter.

2nd Wolves & Wine Auction will be April 21

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on 2nd Wolves & Wine Auction will be April 21

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Bidding at the 2016 Wolves & Wine Auction

The Endangered Wolf Center’s second Wolves & Wine Auction will be held Friday, April 21 at Selkirk Auctioneers and Appraisers. The inaugural event, on June 11, 2016, provided an evening filled with fun, refreshments and spirited bidding that raised substantial funds for the Center.

Sponsors of the 2016 Wolves & Wine Auction were:

August A. Busch III Charitable Trust
Hager Companies and Hager Family
Stephen and Camilla Brauer
Lohr Distributing Company
Steven and Julia Brncic

Preceding the auction at Selkirk (4739 McPherson Ave, St. Louis, 63108), wine tastings and art showing were held at three galleries along McPherson in the Central West End: Duane Reed, Philip Slein and projects+gallery.

Hosts for the evening were Endangered Wolf Center Trustee Janet Conners and her husband, local broadcast personality Larry Conners.

The Planning Committee consisted of Polly Bade, Suzy Brauer, Julia Brncic, Virginia Busch, Beth Campbell, Marjorie Dellas, Marguerite Garrick, Sabrina Lohr, Shy Patel, Michelle Steinmeyer, Virgil VanTrease, Susie Von Gontard and Paul Zemitzsch.

Event planner Rick Ruderer and Selkirk staff members helped stage the event.

Wolves & Wine was covered by Town & Style magazine and the Ladue News. Photographs of guests appeared in the publications and on their websites.

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Annual Fund Coordinator Erin Kipp, along with Volunteer Sandy O’Shaughnessy, helped plan, procure, prepare and present the auction items.

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From left: Sandra VanTrease, Marguerite Garrick and Board Trustee Virgil VanTrease.

Executive Director Virginia Busch on ‘STL Live’

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Executive Director Virginia Busch on ‘STL Live’

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Click here to watch Executive Director Virginia Busch’s appearance on STLTV’s “STL Live” with host Sarah Thompson. They discussed the Endangered Wolf Center’s vital mission of preserving wolves and the role of apex predators in a healthy ecosystem.
They also previewed Wolf Fest, our annual open house, which was Saturday, Oct. 8.

Livestock Guarding Dogs Protect Cheetahs & Wolves

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Livestock Guarding Dogs Protect Cheetahs & Wolves

By Heather Taft and Laurie Marker

Cheetahs in Africa and wolves in North America have a lot in common.  They are both top predators, they are both considered threats to livestock, and people are increasing their use of livestock guarding dogs to protect their herds from them. This benefits both the farmers, decreasing the number of animals lost each year to predators, as well as the predators themselves because there are fewer cheetahs and wolves killed to protect livestock. For two species that are considered endangered, the increasing use of this non­-lethal method to keep predators away can have a great impact on the ability for these species to increase their population size as well.

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A cheetah monitored by a camera trap. Another way in which the Cheetah Conservation Fund keeps track of cheetah population and movement to help farmers know where cheetahs roam.

Misperceptions about Cheetahs

Imagine the life of an African farmer …  Living on different forms of income generated from the  land, such as farming crops, raising and selling livestock, and even poaching when they  become really desperate. Their annual income may be less than $8,000. They may not have electricity, a car, or easy access to health care. They work long, back-­breaking days to feed their family. But sharing land with African predators means a farmer may occasionally find partially eaten carcasses of their livestock —­ a costly loss. Even one animal gone from the herd can impact a farmer’s livelihood.

Cheetahs are threatened by extinction and listed as Vulnerable in Appendix I by the Convention on Trade for Endangered Species (CITES). This can lead to less than ideal solutions for farmers to prevent further death of their livestock when they do find a dead goat. Do they hunt down the suspected cheetah and risk a heavy fine (in some countries), or do they leave the cheetah alone, risking further deaths of their livestock?

One of the big obstacles to saving cheetahs in Africa is the perception that they are nuisance species that intentionally hang around farms to prey upon livestock. There are several basic cheetah habits that contribute to the misperception that cheetahs roam farmlands to kill and eat livestock. With the loss of habitat, the best option would be to live in protected reserves. This includes species like lions, which are competition for cheetahs and are known to steal their kills. To reduce this competition with other predators, and have access to their natural prey species, the vast majority of cheetahs are found outside protected areas on livestock farmland.

Also, cheetahs actually prefer to eat wild species —­ ones they are familiar with and that have evolved alongside them. Therefore, managing a wild prey base is important. Cheetahs can kill livestock, but this is more common when the livestock has no protection from a herder, guarding dog, it is not corralled, or there is no wild prey. Cheetahs may also kill livestock when they become desperate for food, in particular they would prey on those animals that are lame or sick or lag behind the rest of the herd. Unfortunately, in many areas, there is very little wildlife left due to increased poaching. Poaching results in cheetahs looking more frequently at local livestock herds for food. As Africa’s human population increases and poverty continues unabated, habitat loss will increase, and the wild species cheetahs prey upon will decrease. Fewer wild prey species increases the number of livestock killed by predators and increases human­-predator conflict. One thing farmers may not be aware of is that by simply using a better method of protection, their livestock may survive better and they wouldn’t have to worry about predators as much.

Wolves Face Similar Problems

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Rogue, a Mexican wolf at the Endangered Wolf Center. Mexican wolves are the smallest, southernmost and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf.

Wolves in North America are also seen as predators that will attack and kill livestock. Like farmers in Africa, ranchers in North America depend upon the income generated by their livestock, and they don’t always use alternate forms of livestock management. The death of an animal is a very serious problem and lethal actions may appear to be a quick solution. Currently, wolves are listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service across much of the United States. This is important to help protect them and encourage their populations to grow. For ranchers, an endangered status for wolves limits their ability to manage threats to their herds through lethal means.

A study by Wielgus and Peebles published in PLOS ONE in December 2014 found that killing wolves is associated with more livestock deaths the following year.  It was suggested that the death of wolves in the region leaves open habitat for new wolves to occupy. This may mean a new pair of wolves will take over the territory. As they have pups and the pack grows, more wolves will occupy the area. Young wolves may not know the human­-associated dangers of killing livestock, increasing the chance of a negative human­-wolf encounter. Livestock management is a much better option to help reduce the death of livestock.

Livestock Guarding Dogs Protect Herds

A livestock guarding dog watches over a herd. Photo by Andrew Harrington.

There are several ways that farmers can help control cheetahs and wolves to keep them away from their herds without killing the predator. One increasingly popular way to combat the issue is to use a livestock guarding dog (LGD). There are more than 20 breeds of guarding dogs, most from Europe, that have been guarding livestock for several thousand years. These dogs live with the herd instead of as pets in homes. They have bonded with the livestock from an early age and will protect them from predators that may become interested in the herd.

Livestock guarding dogs have been shown to be effective at preventing the death of livestock.  In Namibia, the Cheetah Conservation Fund began a livestock guarding dog program in 1994 using the Anatolian Shepherd and the Kangal, a dog breed from Turkey. They have placed nearly 600 dogs with livestock farmers, providing training in integrated livestock and wildlife management. Over 80 percent of farmers have reported a decrease in the livestock lost when using an LGD.  Most breeds of livestock guarding dogs have been used for centuries to protect livestock from wolves, but the practice decreased as rural farmers became more urbanized. Some dogs used in the United States include the Kangal, the Anatolian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees and the Akbash.

Selecting the best breed, number of dogs, and specific dog of that breed for each herd is important. Some of the best dogs for livestock protection are large, have a loud bark, are well bonded to their animals, and stay with the herd, but they do not herd the flock. If a dog were to chase away a predator both the dog and the herd are at an increased risk of attack. Larger herds need more dogs to make sure all the animals are protected, allowing the dogs to encircle a herd when needed. With wolves the ideal situation would be to create a dog pack that the wolves see as competition. Then the wolves would stay out of the dog pack’s territory leaving the herd of animals alone.

The use of an animal to protect livestock is an environmentally sound way to also help maintain wildlife populations.  It may not be possible to save cheetahs and wolves without the use of natural protective methods like LGDs, which greatly reduce the threat they face from farmers. It is wonderful that so many farmers today are adopting this practice.

Dr. Heather Taft, Ph.D, is a member of the faculty at Miami University in Ohio and teaches graduate classes in conservation biology for Project Dragonfly. She also teaches biology classes for Colorado State University-Global.

Dr. Laurie Marker, Ph.D., is the founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

 

This blog post was done in collaboration with the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Please remember to celebrate Wolf Awareness Week – the third week in October (Oct. 9-16) and International Cheetah Day on Dec. 4.

 

In 2015, Dr. Laurie Marker and Virginia Busch, the Executive Director of the Endangered Wolf Center, discussed the many similar challenges facing cheetahs and wolves. Videos of the conversation are on this website and also appear on the Cheetah Conservation Fund website.

 

Antire Road resurfacing finishes early

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Antire Road resurfacing finishes early

The Missouri Department of Transportation has finished resurfacing work on Antire Road south of Interstate 44, beating its expected completion date of mid-October by several weeks.

Although the project never impeded access to the Endangered Wolf Center, many people called in recent weeks to ask if the Center would remain open during the road construction. The Center is located on the north side of Interstate 44’s Exit 269, the Beaumont-Antire Road Exit. The resurfacing took place on the south side.

The Endangered Wolf Center is located at 6750 Tyson Valley Road in Eureka, MO 63025, on the grounds of Washington University’s Tyson Research Center. For more information, visit www.endangeredwolfcenter.org or call 636-938-5900.

Thank you, Wolf Fest 2016 sponsors

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Thank you, Wolf Fest 2016 sponsors

emersonlogoWe’d like to thank the many thousands of visitors who helped make Wolf Fest 2016 the huge success it was. (Wolf Fest 2017 will be Saturday, Oct. 21.)

And we especially want to thank the many sponsors who made our open house event on Oct. 8 possible:

Premier Sponsor:
Emerson

Main Demonstration Sponsor:
Kevin and Betty

Sponsors:
A Storage Inn, Judith Portnoy
Stella Amsinger and Connor Anderson
Penny Anderson
Anonymous
Craig and Denise Austin
The Baker and Hunter Family
Wendy Birmingham and Lori Schmoll, woohootreasures.com
Andrew and Jennifer Baur
Dave Blue and Missy Rung-Blue
The Broom Family
Rick and Mary Beth Brown
Carol Burtz, In Memory of Larry Burtz
Beth Campbell and Family
Jo Anna Dale
Mark and Barb Doering
Lee and BJ Eavy
George Farrell and Wendy Knudsen Farrell, Friends of Daisy
Grey Eagle Distributors
Jane Habbegger
Harvest Plaza and St. Charles Animal Hospitals
Marie Hirsch
Rick and Lisa Houska in Loving Memory of Babs Nelson, Kevin Houska, Anna and Rocky
Steve and Betsey Johnson
Kids Out and About St. Louis
Chris and Ginny Kostman
Erin Kipp in memory of Freesia
Cheryl Morrow
Wayne Norwood
Cheryl Pride in loving memory of Gloria Doyle
Celeste Ruwwe and Geraldine Hufker
Saint Louis Zoo Endangered Species Research & Veterinary Hospital
Martha Schoonover
Kathleen Secks
Bob and Cathi Tegels
The Eugene J. Tichacek Family Trust
Virgil and Sandra VanTrease
Vet Stop Animal Clinic, Dr. Rhiannon McKnight
Washington University at Tyson Research Center
George and Lee Weber
Marlene Weinland, Wolves’ Lives Matter
Mr. And Mrs. Orrin S. Wightman III
Wiley Family Foundation
Diane Woepke and Gary Woepke in Loving Memory of Richard Woepke
Graphic Design generously provided by Jim Kuchar

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for Wolf Fest 2017, call 636-938-9306. Next year, Wolf Fest will be Saturday, Oct. 21.

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The Kids’ Area featured a climbing wall and bounce house.

Wolf Fest is one of just a handful of days (Holiday Boutique on Dec. 3 and Messy Play Days are the others) when visitors cans tour the animal enclosures without making reservations in advance.

David Jackson and his Conservation Ambassadors again presented three shows. Ambassador animals this year included a barred owl, American alligator, raven, coyote, serval and kangaroo. Another fan favorite, Jonathan Offi and his amazing agility dogs also did three “Canines in the Clouds” performances.

Multiple booths and exhibitions fit in with Wolf Fest’s theme of wildlife/conservation/outdoors. Among the exhibits:

    • The Butterfly House
    • Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary
    • The Dog Museum
    • Kids Out and About St. Louis
    • Longmeadow Rescue Ranch Barn Buddies
    • Missouri Department of Conservation
    • Missouri Parks Association
    • St. Louis Audubon
    • St. Louis Zoo
    • Shaw Nature Preserve
    • Weldon Spring Site Interpretative Center
    • West County Woodcarvers
    • Wildlife Rescue
    • World Bird Sanctuary
    • World Ecology Center (University of Missouri-St. Louis)

Two photogenic mascots were on hand: the African painted dog and Lobo the Mexican wolf.

Food trucks — Blues Fired Pizza, Curbside Cookery, St. LouisianaQ and Seoul Taco ­— offered delicious, savory choices.

The kids’ area featured games and crafts, and a bounce house and rock-climbing wall.

Admission to Wolf Fest was just $25 a carload. Gates opened at 9 a.m. and the event ended at 5 p.m.

Wolf Fest is held at the Endangered Wolf Center, located on the grounds of Washington University’s Tyson Research Center. The address is 6750 Tyson Valley Road, Eureka, MO 63025.

The Center is located about 20 miles southwest of St. Louis, off Interstate 44’s Exit 269, the Beaumont-Antire Road exit. If you are headed westbound on I-44, it’s the exit just after Highway 141. If you are headed eastbound on I-44, it’s the exit just after Lewis Road.  The Center is on the north side of I-44.

The Endangered Wolf Center is a 501c(3) non-profit and receives no funding from the state or federal governments.  Wolf Fest is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and we greatly appreciate your participation.

2016 Wolf Fest Flier
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Jonathan Offi and his ‘Canines in the Clouds’ did three shows.

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Gumbo the American alligator was part of the Conservation Ambassadors program.

We must remain on the side of zoos

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on We must remain on the side of zoos

The message below from Endangered Wolf Center Executive Director Virginia Busch appears in the Center’s Summer 2016 Magazine.

Dear Friends of the Endangered Wolf Center,

In recent months, I’ve watched the zoological community struggle with the concept of relevance, and how it relates to conservation, animal care and their mission. With so much of the wild in a state of crisis and our planet in the midst of its sixth extinction cycle inarguably brought on by humans, the great irony and tragedy is that the very institutions capable of affecting positive change for wildlife and wild places may themselves be on a path to extinction.

Over the last several years, animal rights extremists have devised powerful social media campaigns, in conjunction with agenda-based films positioned as documentaries, that have led many people to question how they feel about animals in zoological facilities.VB

It’s not hard to convince a cynical society that most any corporation or institution is the bad guy, especially when the accuser operates under the auspices of an advocate. But by zoos attempting to take the high road and not enter into a fight with the playground bully, the bullies are winning. And in the end, without zoos and aquariums to inspire a connection to wildlife and wild places, it’s the animals who will lose. And us, who will lose wild animals – those irreplaceable wonders who share our planet.

Zoological facilities are so much more than just the display of animals. They are institutions that:
• aid in species research, especially behavioral research that can be difficult if not impossible in the wild.
• inspire millions of guests each year to become environmental stewards, not just for the animals within the zoo but for the planet as a whole.
• provide boots-on-the-ground conservation, with specialized staff, veterinarian skills or funding.
• manage and breed endangered species for introduction back to the wild.
• provide enrichment activities to help keep the animals mentally and emotionally stimulated.

A nationwide study including more than 5,500 visitors from 12 AZA-accredited institutions found that visits to zoos and aquariums prompt individuals to reconsider their role in environmental problems and see themselves as part of the solution.

We cannot let a loud, ill-informed minority opinion manipulated by extremists create long-lasting policy changes, such as shutting down zoos. Yes, that is a strong statement but one that I truly believe can happen at an accelerated pace with the way social media can influence and drive decisions.

The Endangered Wolf Center is just one of many zoological institutions that directly interfaces with conservation in the wild. Our Mexican and red wolves are active candidates for release to the wild. Would the very same animal rights groups that are so against zoos want to shut us down? Absolutely. There is no gray area for groups like these.

Zoos and facilities such as ours have a responsibility to remain relevant. With 143 million combined visitors each year, no one else can replace their ability to engage, inspire and educate guests through up close connections with animals. No one else has the expertise to research, breed toward species survival, study and advocate for animals through firsthand knowledge like zoos. We must remain on their side. Our living planet and her amazing animals are counting on us all.

Charity Polo Match benefits wolves

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Charity Polo Match benefits wolves

Polo 2016 Flier-Web
All proceeds from the St. Louis Benefit Polo Club’s match on Saturday, Aug. 27, went to the Endangered Wolf Center and its important mission of preserving critically endangered Mexican wolves and red wolves.

The match was held at the Blue Heron Farms Polo Club, 4020 Benne Road, Defiance, MO 63341. Gates opened at 3 p.m. and the match began at 4 p.m.

Admission was just $25 a carload.

VIP tickets were $75 a person. VIPs enjoyed a reserved area with an elevated view and all activities, including food and drinks, free of charge. 

Sponsorships started at $500. Sponsorships included seating under a reserved tent with a catered buffet. Call 636-938-9306 to learn about sponsorship opportunities.

Kevin and Betty once again were our Event Sponsors. Here’s a list of the sponsors:

Event Sponsor:
Kevin and Betty

Half-Time Sponsor:
August A. Busch III Charitable Trust

Team Sponsors:
Several Anonymous Families
Steve and Kimmy Brauer
Hager Companies
Betty White

Sponsors:
Anonymous
Bravo Cucina Italiana
Brio Tuscan Grille
The Commerce Trust Company
Jeremiah and Marjorie Dellas
Dogfish Custom Graphic Apparel
David and Cheryl Gaynor
Harvest Plaza Animal Hospital and St. Charles Animal Hospital
Steve and Betsey Johnson – Foxbrook Farm
Mrs. Wilfred Konneker
Krey Distributing
Jim Kuchar
Lohr Distributing
Musick Construction Co.
The Private Client Reserve U.S. Bank
PVG Land & Cattle Company
Celeste Ruwwe and Geraldine Hufker
The Ryan Tradition-Coldwell Banker Gundaker
St. Louis Car Museum & Sales
Jay Smith
Michelle Steinmeyer
Grenville and Dianne Sutcliffe
Eugene J. Tichacek Family Trust
Virgil and Sandra VanTrease
The Winnick Family Foundation

Guests had a chance to meet and photograph the players and get autographs.

Special exhibits included Spike the Clydesdale, Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary, Longmeadow Rescue Ranch barn buddies and the World Wildlife Fund.

There was a kids area with games and mask-making, a bounce house, gift shop, silent auction, delicious food, soda and water, and adult beverages for those over 21.

The opening ceremonies included a dove release by Wish Upon a Dove. At halftime, guests took part in a traditional champagne toast and divot stomp.

Whether you’re a polo aficionado or a first-time fan, the sport is simply amazing to watch:
• The regulation size of an outdoor polo field is 300 yards by 160 yards – the size of 8 football fields.
• An average polo pony weighs 1,000 pounds.
• The average speed of a polo pony in play is 35 miles an hour.

Please visit our Facebook page to view a Photo Album of the 4th Annual Charity Polo Match.

 

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The match is played on the Kräftig field at the Blue Heron Farms Polo Club in Defiance, Missouri.

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The Charity Polo Match features the traditional halftime divot stomp and champagne toast.

 

Wolves series is now on ‘Wild Kingdom’

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Wolves series is now on ‘Wild Kingdom’

Marlin Perkins

Marlin Perkins during the early TV years of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.” This scene appears in the “Landscape” webisode.

Marlin Perkins is back on “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.”

Actually, his image appears in a segment of the show’s latest webisode series  “Wolves.”

Much of the four-part series was filmed at the Endangered Wolf Center, located on the grounds of Washington University’s Tyson Research Center in Eureka, Missouri.

The Center was founded in 1971 by Marlin Perkins and his wife Carol. Marlin Perkins, former director of the Saint Louis Zoo, was the original and longtime host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” which debuted on NBC in January 1963. Perkins teamed with Jim Fowler to take viewers around the world each week in search of exotic animals.

“Wild Kingdom” now exists online, where current host Stephanie Arne has assumed the role of introducing viewers to the animals. Arne and a film crew visited the Endangered Wolf Center twice, in November 2015 and May 2016. Parts of the program were also filmed at Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana.

The “Wolves” series consists of four parts: “Intro,” “Language,” “Landscape” and “The Pack Way.”

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Stephanie Arne, current host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” during filming at the Endangered Wolf Center near St. Louis.

Links to the series also are available on the Facebook and Twitter pages of “Wild Kingdom” and the Endangered Wolf Center. Both offer news updates so be sure to visit their social media sites.

The “Wild Kingdom” website also offers Did You Know? facts about wolves and a photo gallery.

Earlier webisodes included series on sharks, snakes, stingrays, leopard cubs and many other animals.

‘Wild Kingdom’ returns to the wolf center

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on ‘Wild Kingdom’ returns to the wolf center

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Stephanie Arne, the current host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” met with Marguerite Garrick, daughter of the show’s original host Marlin Perkins, on May 23, 2016 at the Center.

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“Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” filming red wolves at the Endangered Wolf Center May 23, 2016.

“Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” returns to Center founded by Marlin Perkins to film newborn wolf pups

Stephanie Arne, the host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” returned to the Endangered Wolf Center — founded by Marlin Perkins, the original host of “Wild Kingdom” — near St. Louis May 23-24 to film Mexican wolf pups who were born this spring.

“Wild Kingdom” debuted in 1963 on NBC while Perkins was director of the St. Louis Zoo. He hosted the show until 1985, a year before his death. Jim Fowler, his teammate, took over as host after Perkins retired. The weekly series featured stories about wildlife filmed on trips throughout the world.

In 2013, Arne became the series’ first female host, which now features webisodes online. In November, Arne and a film crew were at the Endangered Wolf Center preparing a story on wolves. They returned May 23-24 to include scenes of wolf pups for the webisode to air on www.wildkingdom.com in July.

Two different Mexican wolves — Sibi and Vera — produced litters in April and May this year. In history-making events, two of Sibi’s pups (Vida and Lindbergh) and two of Vera’s pups (Linda and Valeria) were cross-fostered into the dens of wolves living in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona. Cross-fostering is a technique where wolf pups from one litter are placed into another litter. The wolf mother will adopt the additions as her own. It increases the genetic pool and population of wolves in the wild.

Perkins, a pioneer in conservation efforts, and his wife Carol founded the Endangered Wolf Center in 1971, before the Endangered Species Act existed. They recognized that wolves were dramatically declining and that urgent measures were needed to keep them from vanishing from the face of the Earth.

“It is an incredible honor and privilege to film ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’ at the Endangered Wolf Center,” Arne said. “As the show’s new host, I have been able to speak with people across America and experience the lasting impact that Marlin Perkins has had on the hearts and minds of people today; but visiting the Center takes it to another level. It’s one thing to talk about conservation, education, and awareness, but seeing the brick and mortar facility that Marlin founded makes it real.

“Knowing the impact this place has had over the last 40 years on populations in the wild, and the ecosystems in which they live, is truly remarkable and awe-inspiring. Cheers to you Marlin, and on behalf of all the inhabitants of today’s Wild Kingdom, Thank You!”

“It is such a pleasure to welcome Stephanie and ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’ back to the Center to film our newest additions,” said Virginia Busch, Executive Director of the Endangered Wolf Center. “Marlin Perkins would be proud of the messages Stephanie and ‘Wild Kingdom’ are spreading about wildlife and the importance of conserving our planet.”

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