Weiler Woods for Wildlife visits Saluda Elementary School 

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Loti Woods and Dale Weiler of Weiler Woods for Wildlife recently taught first graders at Saluda Elementary School about red wolves, their habits and habitats. Once roaming the eastern and south central United States, the number of red wolves has fallen drastically. 


The youngsters learned that fewer than 20 of these creatures exist in the wild and only in one area of the world, in a wildlife refuge on the coast of North Carolina. Fortunately, other red wolves live in human care in zoos and nature centers to help prevent the extinction of this distinct animal species.  

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The refuge in eastern North Carolina provides the unique space for this canine species to exist in the wild and will hopefully expand, as new pups were born last year.  


Dale Weiler uses art to connect with nature, and his stone sculpture of a red wolf was on display for students to see. Following the talk, the classroom buzzed with activity as the kids each modeled a lump of clay into a red wolf head under the watchful eyes of their teachers, Dale, Loti and outreach coordinator Karen Dacey. 


Snouts and ears sprouted. Eyes, noses and mouths took shape. One student even added a neckband to represent a protective collar. 


With the goal of inspiring champions for wildlife’s underdogs and endangered animals, Weiler Woods for Wildlife has expanded their education outreach over the past few months to encompass more area schools and reach more students. Additional presentations for adults have recently included visits to Lanier Library and Rotary Club of Tryon. 


In addition to red wolves, topics have included bats, turtles, owls, opossums, hellbender salamanders, bees and pollinators, with more to come. Classroom and audience interaction has been lively and rewarding and teacher feedback is extremely positive. This growing awareness helps protect our wild animals!


Weiler Woods for Wildlife is an ample resource for information about misunderstood and endangered critters. Visit weilerwoodsforwildlife.com to find out more about threatened wildlife and ways to support this unique nonprofit. For information about volunteer opportunities contact loti@weilerwoods.com or karen@weilerwoods.com.


Submitted by Karen Dacey