“Now I want you to howl. Loud as you like. Letting all the tension out.” And like a good little group we follow orders and howl.
“Feels good doesn’t it?” encourages Steve. And yes it does actually! Just as we are all really getting into it another voice joins us. A quite different voice. Isis the wolf is answering our call at Kroeshel Wildlife Centre.
“Now she’s happy, she thinks you’re wolves and not Caribo!” Steve laughs.
Kroeshel Wildlife Centre is the realised dream of filmmaker Steve Kroeshel. Over the next two hours he and his business partner Mario introduce us to the animals. To say they are a brilliant double act is putting it mildly, the pair of them have our little group transfixed. The animals are a collection of rescued or orphaned natives of Alaska and Canada. They both handle the animals with care and allow us to stroke a tail here or there. Their show is a wonderful mixture of informative and fun.
As the only Australians in the group I amuse Steve when I tell him the only Wolverine I know is Hugh Jackman. I, honestly didn’t realise it was an actual animal! We all oh and ahh over the beauty of the Lynx, who parades out and poses for us just like a bored cat. My favourite bit I have to say was sharing a carrot with a Moose and getting a kiss into the bargain!
A truly spectacular day out for the animal lover, especially if you want to release a bit of tension and have a good howl! It is up there with seeing pandas, parque das aves and walking with elephants as one of our top animal experiences.
You have to prebook tickets for the tour, at the time of writing the tickets were US$50pp. Kroeshel Wildlife Centre is approximately 45 kms from Haines so we hired a car for the day which allowed us to explore the countryside around Haines afterwards. Absolutely recommend doing this as the scenery is fantastic, well worth the money.
After Steve’s get back on the Haines Highway heading for the Canadian border and call into 33 mile Roadhouse for a truly American diner experience and a really great burger.
We got to Haines by the most glorious five hour sail on the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry from Juneau.
We stayed at the Hotel Halsingland, an old historic hotel full of charm. Room 4 on the front corner is the room to ask for!