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RIP Dr. Erich Klinghammer - Phil's Rambling Rants
October 12th, 2011
01:16 am


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RIP Dr. Erich Klinghammer
Just got email tonight that Dr. Erich Klinghammer, the founder of Wolf Park, died Oct. 6.

I can't say I knew him personally, though I did hear him speak several times in my visits to the park, and I believe I spoke to him one on one a time or two and shook his hand.  I know the place he built, starting by himself on his own land, and the team he put together, though.  Wolf Park's pioneering research on captive wolves is a major foundation of our understanding of wolves today.  Scientific observation and research continue to this day, though the park mainly focuses on education and outreach today, and people come from all over the world for the opportunities it offers to learn about these magnificent animals.

Dr. Klinghammer's name may not be known to very many, but he made more of a mark on the world than most of us can hope to.

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[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love Wolf Park! I haven't been there in years, but my first husband had a special affinity for wolves, so for his birthday one year, I got him a wolf adoption, and ended up getting one myself after a visit to the park. He adopted Chinook, and I adopted Altair... both of whom I believe are (sadly) dead now. There used to be a section on the website where you could find pictures of the past wolves there, but I can't find it right now.

I remember that, since we had done an adoption of a certain length, we could go to the park when they were closed, which was great, 'cause his birthday was in December. They brought Chinook and Altair out to meet us, and we had to sign this paper that said, among other things, we wouldn't let the wolves lick us. Altair apparently doesn't read the paperwork, 'cause she licked me anyway. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how exactly I was supposed to stop her... I mean, I know they're well-socialized to humans, but I was thinking I didn't want to be the one to tell the big-toothed predator "no"! It was way cool, though.
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
And pretty sure this is Altair... http://www.wolfphotography.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=2322A-08&Category_Code=portrait

Seems there are a good number of pictures of both of them, that are labeled as such, in the Portraits section of the gift shop. These pictures are as I remember them, though.
Date:October 13th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
I knew he was no spring chicken--but I hadn't realized that the end was upon him. May he be reincarniated as an alpha wolf!
[User Picture]
Date:October 13th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
We have never been to Wolf Park, but are going next week, on our way to OVFF. Very excited about it! I was sorry to hear of Dr. Klinghammer's death, but as you say, he leaves a remarkable legacy.
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