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The Westbury Times - Schools

Atka The Wolf Visits Westbury

Classroom assignments became a lot more memorable for Westbury Middle School students last week, as sixth graders got a visit from a wolf. 


Students gathered in the auditorium for an assembly, where educator Alex Spitzer from the Wolf Conservation Center first gave a presentation on wolves. He explained different wolf behaviors, how they hunt, their diet, habitat and development. Atka, an 11-year-old wild gray arctic wolf, then came into the assembly, much to the delight of students. Atka (who was on a leash) roamed through the aisles of the auditorium and onto the stage, sniffing around and exploring his surroundings. Students asked Spitzer questions, enthralled as what they had been learning about in their classrooms came to life. Ms. Leckler’s sixth grade class was sitting front and center during the assembly, and students were captivated by the wolf. 


“I like that we got to see a real wolf at our school, that’s something you don’t see everyday,” said one student.


Since September, students have read several texts about wolves and have learned about scent markings, packs and communications through their readings. At the assembly, students were able to learn additional facts about wolves such as that they are afraid of humans, have two coats of fur and that they raise their paw when they’re ready to attack. 


“He told us a lot of facts that were really interesting,” said a student.