We are NOT in any immediate danger

Please be aware that there are several active wildfires throughout New Mexico and Arizona that may affect travel to and from the wolf sanctuary. Please call the Gift Shop if you need more information, as we are trying to stay on top of road and fire information: 505-775-3304.

Male High-Content Wolfdog
Forest joined the Big Pack in the Sky on July 17th, 2020.
He was assisted at 15 years old due to bone cancer.

Forest was born in April of 2006, and arrived at Wild Spirit in June of that same year. Shortly after we rescued the litter of Arctic wolf pups (Alice, Thunder, Sabine, Sugar, Storm and Powder), a friend of Wild Spirit called to see if we were interested in more puppies. A litter of 8 Arctic-Timber crosses had been born in Oregon to a man who did not know what to do with them. We explained that we really had our hands full already and wouldn’t be able to take them. However, a former staff member who was planning to open a sanctuary in Ohio was eager to take the Arctic-Timber litter.

Out of the 8 pups in the litter, 3 were sold to private owners and the other 5 were brought to Wild Spirit for temporary housing while their rescuer made arrangements to come pick them up. Unfortunately, his plans to open a sanctuary fell through, and Wild Spirit ended up keeping the 5 puppies: 3 boys and 2 girls, named Forest, Dakota, Brutus, Savannah, and Sassy. Since they were only a week apart in age from our Arctic puppies, we put them together and let them grow up as one big family.

As the Arctic-Timber puppies grew up, it became clear from their behavior and appearance that they were not pure wolves, but rather high-content wolfdogs, meaning they were ~85-95% wolf. Despite this difference, they lived happily with the Arctic wolves, and they eventually all divided into independent packs, each made of a combination of the two litters.

Forest became very close with Alice and Thunder, and the three were known as our Forest Pack. Thunder and Forest occasionally had disagreements over food and enrichment treats. Fortunately, there weren’t any serious conflicts, but like all of our groups, we kept close watch for any sign of a problem. In general, Forest and his pack-mates were very happy with their life together.



Forest was a very social boy and loved to meet people. He usually had a big, goofy smile on his face, and he often helped out with our educational outreach events. However, if he didn’t want to do something, he let us know.


Forest lived with two Arctic wolves, Alice and Thunder, who were siblings. These three first met as puppies and had known each other most of their lives. Alice and Forest were especially close.

Likes & Dislikes

Forest loved to meet people, go out for walks, and greet our tour guests when they stopped by his habitat. He loved the treats he got during tours, too! Since his habitat-mates, Alice and Thunder, were rarely interested in tours, he got all the goodies and attention.

Forest did not like to ride in the van. He enjoyed helping with our educational events, but he did not travel with us because of this.

Fun Facts

Forest got his name when our former Assistant Director, Angel, met a young man named Forest who had come for a tour. He loved wolves and was so happy to share all the facts he had learned. Years later, Angel named her son Forest, too, in honor of the wolfdog she loved so dearly.

Share your Memories of Forest Below!


  1. Lauriel Axtell-Smedley

    I am so sorry to learn of Forrest’s passing. I had taken my father
    Text Smedley to say to your Wolf Ranch when he was visiting me in Albuquerque and Forrest was brought out to meet us at about 6 months old. Forest immediately jumped up, placing his paws on both my father’s shoulders to look him straight in the eyes. Dad never got over that until the day he died in November 2012, showed pictures of to anyone who would listen saying “this is my wolf. ” when Dad visited one more time before his death we were able to have a special one-on-one with Forest which thrilled him to no end.

  2. Pat

    Forest was glorious. I was lucky to have seen this handsome fellow a couple of times at the sanctuary and at outreach events. Forest under the care of Angel were such a striking couple. Thank you all for what you do.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.