Wolf Kisses
June 20th, 2019 by Pamela Keene

A guest to Seacrest Wolf Preserve gets a little love from one of the resident wolves.
Photo by Laurie Rowe Communications

Special relationships between man and beasts are not unusual. As humans, our families often include dogs and cats, sometimes birds and horses. But most people don’t think of wolves as being warm and cuddly.

That is not so at the Seacrest Wolf Preserve. Visitors to the 400-acre preserve in Chipley can safely pet the 30 or so wolves and even get wolf kisses and cuddles.

“Guests who visit Seacrest Wolf Preserve interact with wolves in a one-on-one environment in their habitats,” says Heather Lopez, director of tourism for Washington County. “Wolves are very intelligent, playful animals, and very loyal to the members of their pack. In that way they are much like humans.”

The preserve has several species of wolves, including gray, Arctic and British Columbian. Guests can walk through the wolf habitats or take a private tour.

“The goal of the preserve is to educate humans about the importance of this keystone species to the environment and help dispel many of the myths about wolves,” Heather says. “It is an amazing experience to visit here.”

In Lakeland, east of Tampa, Safari Wilderness Ranch, offers guided tours of its 870 square miles of habitat.

Guests can travel in covered, open-bed safari vehicles, ride camels or kayak to see hundreds of wild animals—from elands to zebras, water buffalo to llamas. Feed ring-tailed lemurs, budgies and guinea pigs and visit the baby animals born at the facility.

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Melbourne, was created to protect habitat for loggerhead sea turtles that nest in the area from May to mid-August. The quiet beaches with little artificial light are ideal for nesting. The refuge is also home to more than 140 species of water birds, wading birds and other waterfowl, along with raptors passing through during migration.

Travel Insurance
Life’s unexpected events can throw a wrench into vacation plans. Many cruise lines, airlines and travel companies offer travel insurance when you book. Typically, the cost is based on a percentage of the price of your trip per person.

Travel insurance can protect your investment if you must cancel because of illness or family emergency. The policy also can protect you if the travel company doesn’t provide the services you have purchased, such as an airline that goes out of business, help in a medical emergency far from home or even replacing lost or stolen luggage.

Coverages are wide-ranging and specific to the policy you buy. When considering travel insurance, carefully read the fine print. Compare benefits and prices of the coverage offered by your tour company with independent providers. You may find comparable benefits at a lower cost.

Check www.clark.com, www.consumerreports.org and www.travelinsurance.com.

Glad You Live Here?
Here are interesting facts about the state. Florida has:

  • More than 1,300 golf courses, tops among all states.
  • Almost 12,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways.
  • 7,800 lakes larger than 10 acres; Lake Okeechobee is the second-largest freshwater lake in the U.S. with 700 square miles of surface area.
  • The most first-magnitude springs of any state.

You have an edge over tourists. You can visit any attraction, park, beach and destination anytime you want, without having to make major plans.

Florida native and travel enthusiast Pamela A. Keene is a freelance journalist who specializes in travel, gardening, personality and feature writing. She is also a photographer and accomplished sailor. Her website is www.pamelakeene.com.