SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Girl Scouts' visit with wildlife artist prompts mission to save American red wolf

Click here for u...

Posted: Jan 4, 2021 9:36 AM
Updated: Jan 4, 2021 9:38 AM

Click here for updates on this story

    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS ) -- A group of middle school Girl Scouts' visit to learn about the American red wolf turned out to be the fuel to their fire of a mission to help save the critically endangered animal.

The wild American red wolf population can claim only as few as 20 red wolves left in the wild in a tiny corner of eastern North Carolina.

In the summer of 2018 the Cadettes of Girl Scout Troop 1819 visited Weiler Woods for Wildlife, a resource that promotes education and understanding of the "underdogs" of the wild, to learn more about the American red wolf.

Dale and Loti Weiler, who started Weiler Woods for Wildlife in Tryon, combine their sculpture talent (Dale) with writing ability (Loti) to promote awareness about such misunderstood creatures as wolves, opossums, hellbenders and vultures.

During the Cadettes' trip that summer, the girls learned about what a wildlife artist does. “Just Settling In,” Dale's newest sculpture then, carved out of alabaster, portrayed an American red wolf and her newborn pup. The middle schoolers were struck by the work of art as well as learning that less than 20 wild red wolves remained on the planet, and that those lived in their home state of North Carolina.

“It never ceases to amaze me the power that art possesses. It can literally touch your soul," Dale Weiler said. "Watching the Girl Scouts connect with my red wolf sculpture was what every artist hopes to attain in his/her efforts.”

Inspired to learn and do more, the Cadettes decided to help the red wolves through their annual fundraising project. They also decided to make saving the American red wolf the focus of their Silver Award project.

“Dale and Loti have instilled in them a sense of urgency to save the red wolf. Scouts are encouraged to remember the Outdoor Code, which states that we are to be conservation minded," said Troop 1819 leader Lori Nichols. "Even though these Cadettes are in the early stages of working toward their Silver Award, I’m convinced that they have already shifted their focus from just earning an award to sincerely helping the red wolves survive.”

The muses for Dale's sculpture were the red wolves in the American red wolf habitat at the WNC Nature Center in Asheville. Due to the pandemic, the Girl Scouts had to wait until mid-December 2020 to make the trip to the nature center to see these creatures for themselves. Coordination through Friends of the WNC Nature Center enabled them to get a special tour of the red wolf habitat from the nature center's community outreach coordinator, Candace Poolton.

“Getting to see the red wolves was something I will never forget,” said Girl Scout Ellie. “I had never been so close to them! I had a big appreciation for red wolves when I saw pictures of them, but after being able to see them up close, it grew even bigger! I really appreciate all the hard work that all that the staff do at the WNC Nature Center to help save these amazing animals, and I hope that one day red wolves will be safe again."

As part of its Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, the WNC Nature Center has had 13 red wolf pups born into their care. Their current red wolves, Karma and Garnet, are four years old and were matched as a breeding pair by the program.

“I loved Annie, Ellie and Bella’s enthusiasm for the red wolf," Poolton said of the Cadette trio. "They all said they really had no idea that red wolves existed until seeing Dale’s artwork, and they asked incredible questions for their age group. We talked about the history of the red wolf, the Species Survival Plan and success stories, as well as why red wolves began to decline again.”

When the Girl Scouts asked what they could do to make a direct impact on saving the red wolf from extinction, Candace told them that the best way was to get the word out about the plight of the American red wolf and support facilities like the WNC Nature Center that are actively involved in conserving the species.

For their Silver Award project, the three Cadettes will assist in education and awareness of the American red wolf, by collaborating with the Weilers in their efforts.

“We were so glad we could be a part of this story,” said Friends of the WNC Nature Center Development Director Kate Frost. “People can’t care about something they don’t know about. By connecting these Cadettes with our red wolves, we’re helping grow the next generation of nature lovers and conservationists who are inspired to protect these amazing creatures.”

To share their message with as many people as possible, the Weilers made and donated more than 30 limited-edition castings of the original “Just Settling In” sculpture to be put on display across the United States in accredited centers committed to red wolf conservation. Weiler Woods for Wildlife partnered with Defenders of Wildlife to provide one of the castings to be installed in 2021 at the WNC Nature Center.

With two breeding red wolves right at the WNC Nature Center, the community can help a local effort to save these critically endangered animals who are on the brink of extinction. Now through December 31, Weiler Woods for Wildlife is matching all donations to the Friends of the WNC Nature Center of $100 or more, up to $3,500.

Donations can be made online at wildwnc.org/donate or mailed to Friends of the WNC Nature Center, PO Box 19151, Asheville, 28815.

To learn more about the plight of the American red wolf and about Weiler Woods for Wildlife, visit weilerwoodsforwildlife.com/red-wolf-facts.

The Western North Carolina Nature Center connects people of all ages with the plants and animals of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Asheville’s wildlife park is located on 42 acres and is home to more than 60 species of animals, including red pandas, river otters, black bears, red and gray wolves, and cougar. The Friends is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the animals, programs, and facilities of the WNC Nature Center. For more information, please visit wildwnc.org.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 23°
Kokomo
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 19°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 20°
Lafayette
Mostly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 20°
Danville
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 19°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 17°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 17°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 20°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 21°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 28°
Active Start To The Work Week
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events