The hide of a wolf was recently donated to the Runestone Museum, thanks in part to Douglas County Commissioner Jerry Rapp.
In January 2018, the wolf was struck and killed by a vehicle on County Road 14 in Spruce Hill Township. It was turned over to the Department of Natural Resources in Glenwood.
At that time, Rapp said his son, Robert, was having bobcats tagged at the DNR office in Glenwood. He learned that the wolf hide was going to be displayed in Glenwood at the DNR office.
Because the wolf was killed in Douglas County, Rapp said he felt it should be displayed in Douglas County.
To make that happen, he made a series of phone calls trying to get the wolf hide. Eventually, he ended up talking to state Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, who told Rapp he would make some phone calls and get back to him.
“It was less than half an hour and the phone rang,” said Rapp. “It was Senator Bill. He said, ‘Jerry, go and pick up the wolf.’”
Rapp did and delivered it to the Runestone Museum in Alexandria.
“This is amazing and educational,” said Amanda Seim, Runestone Museum’s executive director.
She said the wolf hide will not only be on display, but the museum is planning to build a wildlife exhibit around that piece, hopefully sometime this winter.
Having an artifact like the wolf hide is great for a “touch and feel” exhibit, said Seim. Because the hide is portable, she said she could use it as part of her lesson plans when traveling around to schools. It could be part of the “Paws and Claws” lesson, she said.
The museum has other hides on display as well, including from a skunk, a mink and a beaver.
Seim thanked Rapp for his efforts in making sure the wolf hide stayed in Douglas County and is now a permanent fixture at the Runestone Museum.