Helicopters causing stress to wolves on Lakota Wolf preserve in Warren County

The owners of a New Jersey wolf preserve say helicopters buzzing overhead are stressing out the animals and causing troublesome behavior. (6/5/14)

WARREN COUNTY - The owners of a New Jersey wolf preserve say helicopters buzzing overhead are stressing out the animals and causing troublesome behavior.

Under peaceful circumstances, the wolves of Lakota Wolf preserve are free to howl and roam but owner James Stein says they are reacting very differently to helicopters flying overhead. "It was hovering there and the animals were very stressed out," he says.

Stein believes better weather is bringing out aerial nature photographers.

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The preserve sits on about 12 acres with four enclosures where the wolves are free to roam, but when a chopper is overhead they feel like there's nowhere to hide.

On the preserve's Facebook page, the helicopter issue has prompted hundreds of comments on how to deal with them but Stein is taking the civil approach. "We reached out to some local airports and some local tour guides and sent them nice letters saying if you're touring the preserve to please stop. It's stressing out the animals," he says.

The FAA says it does not have the authority to prohibit flights over areas like the preserve but if they were given tail numbers the helicopters could be encouraged to fly higher.

Stein says he'll keep an eye out, but his first priority isn't watching the sky, it's watching his wolves.

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