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Lancaster County facility offers sanctuary to wolves - abc27 WHTM

Lancaster County facility offers sanctuary to wolves; enlightenment to humans

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For tour guide Denny Binkley, it's like dropping in on friends.

"This is Tioga, said Binkley, as he fed a group of timberwolves. "This is his father, Merlin. Merlin is sometimes picky with the chicken, but I don't believe he is today."

As a seven year volunteer at the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania near Litiz, Binkley is quick to share the name and story of each of the 44 wolves, while correcting common misconceptions about the animals.

"We get them (tour groups) out. Get them on a tour," he said. "They see what they're like. After the tour's over, we ask them, 'Now what do you think?' And they are just amazed. Everybody's amazed how these animals are."

Dawn Darlington and Darin Tompkins oversee the 25 acre facility, started more than three decades ago by Darlington's parents on the grounds of their family farm. Her late father, William, wanted to ensure a safe environment for wolves given up or turned loose when it became illegal in Pennsylvania to own them as pets.

"The sanctuary has been here since 1980," said Dawn, "but the people have only found us since 2005."

She credits word of mouth from visitors for the increase in traffic since then.

Fran Rubick of Hershey had just completed a tour with her group, "Hershey Area Neighbors and Newcomers." She recommends the wolf sanctuary to anyone, at any age.

"The tour guide gave us the history of almost every one of the animals," she explained," which was quite interesting."

And for visitors wanting an overnight stay, there's a 1760 era Bed and Breakfast available on the grounds.

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