The next day was equally adventurous. We went to the Polar Park and saw reindeers in person. We initially mistook the moose as reindeer. Lol! Anyway, the reindeers were allowed to roam freely and “co-exist” with us in the park. That was quite an experience on its own.
The highlight of the Park was the private visit to the wolves enclosure. Looking at them from outside the fence, they look like super large dogs with enormous jaws (not to mention sharp teeth). The rangers explained to us that the wolves will come very near to sniff us and they may even “greet” us by leaping onto our crossed yet outstretched arms. They warned us not to make any sudden moves or sounds that may startle them. The usually animal-phobic me was so terrified at that moment and I could not imagine going into the same space as the wolves. I backed out. One of the rangers told me that it’ll be an experience of my lifetime if I were able to pluck up the courage and do it. I psyched myself up and braved through, holding my breath throughout. I kept telling myself not to scream, not to move suddenly.
We were allowed into the enclosure, so it’s just us (with two rangers) and the wolves. True enough, the five of them came really close and sussed us out by sniffing our legs. Some of the leapt onto S’s arms and once S knelt on one knee, one of them went up to his face and licked him. Yikes! I can never imagine doing that, ever, not even for a million dollars.
Then the rangers started howling like them and soon after, they gathered around us and started their symphony of howls. It was really surreal, like in the movies, except that we are in the movie this time. What a haunting sound! We were so mesmerized by their howls that I had to snap out of it and quickly asked S to film it for memory. It was simply beautiful.