Farewell my friend. With great sorrow to all who knew and loved him, Atka magnificent Ambassador wolf of the Wolf Conservation Center, New York, passed away peacefully in his sleep, yesterday morning. Atka dedicated his life to changing long founded misconceptions about wolves, spreading understanding, compassion and respect for his extraordinary species. He was a living legend and touched the hearts of millions, including mine. No one could give his passing greater respect and dignity than the Wolf Conservation Center, who loved and cared for him throughout his miraculous life: "Rest in Peace, Atka".
Amongst the many mourning Atka across the globe, I would like to pay my own personal respects and express my gratitude to and love for Atka, who I finally met during a visit to the Wolf Conservation Center in March, six years after he first entered my life. He was the most gentle and celestial being I have known. He greeted me with a fondness I will never forget. Looking into his divine, golden eyes I saw a wisdom from a time long lost to our contemporary world. He allowed me to spend precious moments in his company, communicating with me, and wearing a smile that lit up his face. It was with a heavy heart I left Atka, knowing that because of the ocean between us, I would probably never see him again. My memory of Atka is so vivid and precious, it plays like a cherished film, over and over in my mind, as he remains with me forever.
My deepest sympathies to Executive Director Maggie Howell and all at the Wolf Conservation Center for your devastating loss of the remarkable, irreplaceable Atka. Thank you for sharing him with the world and also with myself and my family that treasured day. Rest in peace beautiful Atka, with heartfelt love and thanks.
Atka May 17, 2002 - September 22, 2018
With special thanks to Nikki, Dave and Rob Lee and to David Shellenberger for helping me realise my long held dream of meeting Atka and the wolves of the Wolf Conservation Center.