Vancouver Island wolf expert uses video conferencing to educate students during pandemic
Published Friday, May 1, 2020 9:54AM PDT Last Updated Friday, May 1, 2020 12:38PM PDT
Wolf expert Gary Allan is seen with his wolf-dog, Tundra, inside his home near Nanaimo: (CTV News)
NANAIMO -- Gary Allan is an expert on wolves on Vancouver Island and has been offering free video conferencing sessions for over a month to digital classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It‘s so interactive, the students are so overwhelmed when they see this,” said Allan, owner and operator of SWELL Wolf Education Centre. “It’s been very popular.”
So popular, in fact, that the entire month of May is completely booked.
Shandra Bowen’s grade 6 class at North Glenmore Elementary in Kelowna got to experience the wolf video conference Thursday morning.
“I’m so appreciative of this great learning opportunity for children during this unprecedented time,” said Bowen.
“As a teacher, I see such value in opportunities such as this for our students. It opens their eyes to our world outside the classroom,” she added.
Known as ‘The Wolfman’, Allan has been educating schools and community groups for more than 13 years about the important role wolves play in the environment.
Allan’s 60-minute video conference covers a range of information, including characteristics of the wolves, how they are all about family, their important role for the ecosystem and their relationship with First Nations history.
The conference also shows Allan with his 13-year-old wolf-dog named Tundra – who is approximately 90 per cent wolf – who lives indoors with Allan and has been his educational sidekick.
The pair have visited more than 200 schools and 35,000 students throughout B.C. over the past 13 years.
In his online conferences, Allan also shows students his three other wolf-dogs – Mahikan, the mother, and her two pups, Denali and Stqeye – who are all 90 percent wolf.
All three live outside on Allan’s property near Nanaimo
Allan has done video conferences with groups from as far away as Toronto and Baltimore, MD, as well as inquiries from Europe.
If anyone is interested in setting up a wolf video conference, you can contact Allan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website online here.