Born on May 2, 1987 in Wisconsin
Arrived at Mission: Wolf on July 1, 1987
Passed away on August 26, 2000
Lived with Jordan, Lucus, Nikkolah
Raven the wolf passed away in late August 2000. She had been born in the spring (as all wolves are) of 1987 on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. The person who had owned her, her siblings and her parents had planned on breeding Rottweilers with wolves. The resulting “wolf-a-weilers” would have been sold to the public as family pets. When those plans were found to be impractical Raven and her two siblings, brother Lucus and sister Jordan, came to live at Mission: Wolf. When Raven and Jordan grew up and matured they overthrough the reigning alpha female, Cyndar. Cyndar never fully recovered from the attack. She seemed to lose both spirit and physical strength, and died about a month after Jordan became the new alpha female. Raven soon took over her sister and became the alpha female.
During her time of leadership I remember Raven being somewhat heavy handed toward her sister. To say that Raven was intense is just touching the tip of the iceberg. I can still remember meeting her for the first time. Despite her ferocity towards Jordan, Raven was very gentle with her human companions. Once we had entered her pack’s enclosure, Raven came up to the group and sniffed us all. After greeting the staff Raven came up to me, stuck her nose on my nose, looked me in the eye and then licked my face three or four times. She was the first wolf that I met face to face and I was thrilled by the wolf greeting. When I had ventured to Mission: Wolf that Spring I had expected to just see the wolves, not be welcomed into the family so to speak. For weeks after this encounter I was floating on a cloud. Nothing in my life had electrified me as much as that initial greeting did. Nine years later, I can still recall my emotions on that day – all of the books on wolves that I had read, all of the photographs I had seen… nothing had prepared me for my initiation that day.
Although I formed stronger bonds over the years with other wolves I have a special place in my heart for Raven. As her legend grows, Raven may be best remembered for her initiation of humans into the world of canis lupus. In my eye Raven was the Matriarch of Mission: Wolf, even after she lost the alpha position to her daughter Nyati. Raven lived the remainder of her life with her grandsons, Nedd, Mowgli and Druid. At first, Raven seemed to be unhappy, perhaps depressed or psychologically wounded after her ouster from the pack. Her mate, Nikkolah decided to remain with the pack although there was an attempt to pair the two. Her grandsons just couldn’t compare to her love of life and we were worried that even if Raven recovered from her physical wounds she would soon succumb to despair. Nonetheless, Raven’s spirit remained strong and she was soon dominating her new pack mates, bossing them around and reminding the three young males that she was still the queen.