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Dancing (And Easter Egg Hunting) With Wolves In South Salem

Spencer Wilhelm gives Atka an Easter egg.
Spencer Wilhelm gives Atka an Easter egg. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Zephyr stares out at visitors at the Wolf Conservation Center.
Zephyr stares out at visitors at the Wolf Conservation Center. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Wolf Conservation Center Operations Manager Spencer Wilhelm (center) leads children in howling with Atka, the Arctic Gray Wolf.
Wolf Conservation Center Operations Manager Spencer Wilhelm (center) leads children in howling with Atka, the Arctic Gray Wolf. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Atka howls back, in response to howls from his visitors.
Atka howls back, in response to howls from his visitors. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Visitors observe the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem.
Visitors observe the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Kids check out the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center.
Kids check out the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Nikai roams in his enclosure at the Wolf Conservation Center.
Nikai roams in his enclosure at the Wolf Conservation Center. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Kids check out the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center.
Kids check out the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Visitors watch the wolves at Saturday's demonstration.
Visitors watch the wolves at Saturday's demonstration. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Guests listen to Operations Manager Spencer Wilhelm talk about wolves.
Guests listen to Operations Manager Spencer Wilhelm talk about wolves. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Kids check out the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center.
Kids check out the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Zephyr, a black male, relaxes in the sun.
Zephyr, a black male, relaxes in the sun. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Atka lets out a yawn, ready for his nap.
Atka lets out a yawn, ready for his nap. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. -- Visitors to South Salem's Wolf Conservation Center Saturday got to see an Easter egg hunt with a twist -- it was wolves doing the hunting.

Adults and kids got to hide dozens of eggs in the wolves' pen (sans the wolves, of course), then watch (from the outside of the pen) as three wolves -- Alawa, Nikai and Zephyr -- were allowed back into their area, then sniffed them out and ate the treats.

The center's Operations Manager, Spencer Wilhelm, said the wolves hunt down the eggs by using their senses of sight and smell, though on this windy day the smelling part wasn't so easy.

The visitors also got a tour of the center, which 23 wolves call home.

To learn more about the Wolf Conservation center, check out their web site - www.nywolf.org .

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