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Wolf Handling and Chemical Immobilization

A Three-Day Seminar that Includes Daily Labs and Hands-On Participation in an Annual Veterinary Examination of Captive Wolves

Staci Janusz

Photo Credit: Staci Janusz

Instructor: Norm Switzer, DVM, California Wolf Center
Location: California Wolf Center, Julian, California
Dates: January 23, 24, and 25, 2020 (must attend all three dates)
Price: $400 or $350 for active California Wolf Center volunteers
Audience: By Application Only. Preference will be given to wildlife (field & captive) personnel; veterinarians and vet technicians; field biologists; animal control professionals; personnel from zoos, captive breeding facilities for endangered wildlife, and national and state parks, and students in related fields.
Physical Requirements: Must be able to lift at least 30 pounds, stand for at least two hours without sitting, bend down, kneel, squat, twist, reach, and stand up unassisted, work in very cold temperatures and/ or precipitation, and walk in steep, uneven terrain unassisted.


This three-day classroom and hands-on lab experience addresses all aspects of the capture and handling of captive and free-ranging wildlife. The materials and concepts are applicable to a broad array of animal handling situations.

Participants will gain invaluable experience through extensive laboratory work and field practice. Each day includes a hands-on lab, and the entire third day is devoted to working with veterinarians conducting an annual veterinary examination of captive non-tame wolves.

The seminar will also increase the ability of participants to capture escaped animals and to safely contain and potentially evacuate animals in the event of emergencies.

Topic Outline

  • Physical restraint techniques
  • Drugs and drug delivery systems for captive animals
  • Assessing animal health and anesthetic depth
  • Individual animal identification systems (ear tagging, tattoos, PIT tags)
  • Blood and data collection and documentation practices
  • Legal responsibilities (documentation and storage) associated with chemical immobilizations
  • Preparing for planned capture and handling events

Hands-On Labs

  • Administering drugs
  • Practice drug delivery systems
  • Monitoring temperature, pulse, and respiration
  • Chemically immobilizing and restraining wolves
  • Handling wolves during annual wolf veterinary check-up

About the California Wolf Center

The California Wolf Center is a 501 (c)(3) California non-profit organization. The Center presents education programs each week about wolves and their ecosystems and participates in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan.

Course Logistics

Location: The California Wolf Center is in Julian, about 60 miles east of downtown San Diego. All course participants are responsible for their own transportation and accommodations. Out of town participants should fly into San Diego's Lindbergh Field. Registrants will receive a detailed information package that includes directions to the Center and a list of hotel accommodations.

Date: January 23, 24, and 25, 2020 (must attend all three dates)

Food and Drink: In an effort to reduce costs for students, only limited, light snacks and cold drinks will be provided. Participants should plan to bring their own lunches and other food or drinks that may be needed during the course.

Cancellation Refund Policy: Cancellation on or before November 30, 2019 guarantees a full refund. Cancellation between December 1 and December 31, 2019 guarantees a 50% refund. No refunds will be given for cancellations made on or after January 1, 2020.

For More Information

For information about whether this seminar fits your needs, please call 760-765-0030 or .

To Apply

Please fill out the application below. If your application is accepted, we will contact you with a link to register and pay.

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