It is night time time. A pair of luminous eyes stare out at you from the sting of a clearing surrounded by bushes. A wolf’s howl is heard shut by.
This is not the opening scene of a cabin-in-the-woods horror film.
It is a truthful description of an journey expertise some individuals pay handsomely for. On this case, the chance to sleep in a small, bare-bones cabin surrounded by wolves.
Parc Mahikan, which implies wolf in Innu language, is situated in Girardville, north of Lac-Saint-Jean. It is one of many main commentary centres completely devoted to wolves in Canada.
For the final 15 years, Gilles Granal and his spouse Marie-Christine have been attempting to share their love of wolves and their canine cousins.
“The purpose of the park is to demystify the wolf. It is an animal that leaves some individuals ambivalent. Others like it. Others are afraid,” mentioned Granal.
Granal runs the park that gives the prospect to remain in a single day in cabins, take guided excursions and have supervised interactions with the wolves.
There are 35 wolves within the park, which make up three packs. Whereas most of them are nonetheless fairly wild, seven of them are extra domesticated and cozy with people.
Granal and his spouse got here to Quebec from France in 1987 and fell in love with the small city of Girardville. The couple quickly adopted their ardour for sled canines, of which they’ve 68, to opening the wolf park.
Park Mahikan solely will get about 300 guests a yr. Granal says it is not about quantity, however high quality of time and expertise for his visitors.
It is also a matter of not stressing out the animals.
There are 4 eco-cabins on the property, situated contained in the enclosures the place the wolves dwell and roam.
These chalets are all-seasonal with wood-stove or propane heating, however no electrical energy and positively no wi-fi web.
Sleeping among the many wolves means being lulled to sleep by howling packs.
“After they howl, you are proper within the center. It is one thing particular to expertise,” mentioned Granal.
Jean-Pierre Parisien, a Franco-American vacationer, instructed Radio-Canada that he stored his door locked simply in case.
“At night time, what could be very spectacular is to see the eyes of the wolves reflecting the sunshine,” he mentioned.
The Arctic wolves and gray wolves roam the higher a part of the six hectares of the park, however they’re extra scared than vicious towards people.