Now many would think these places are nuts. "Letting the general public get that close to wild animals? They're just inviting an incident!" Normally I'd even agree. But, at least in the case of Wolf Mountain, they have yet to have such an incident.
"Well they've just been lucky."
Having been there, I say quite the contrary. You see, they can do this because they know exactly what they're dealing with, and how to handle it. Tonya Littlewolf, the owner of Wolf Mountain, understands her wolves and is always watching. She knows what to look for, and when the wolves are restless or uneasy, she clears the enclosure. That isn't luck. That's experience.
As I was reading about this other zoo in Buenos Aires, I got to thinking how things so drastically dangerous are rendered far safer when you know what you're doing and respect that with which you're working. For example, think about this: Mythbusters on the Discovery channel once did a piece on coal walking. You know, the art of walking barefoot on hot coals. Those who were trained, even minimally, were able to do it without a problem. Those that weren't, got three steps before being burned. The difference? Training and experience. The dangerous is made safer when you understand the risk and know how to handle it.
"You can't make the dangerous safe just by training."
Mostly true. I'll explain why in a sec. But first I'll agree with the core of that. You can't make fire-fighting safe no matter how well trained you are. Then again, if two people were given the same gear, and told to fight a fire, and only one was trained, had badly injured would that untrained person get? The dangerous can be made safe-ER when you understand what you're doing and what you're dealing with.
That said, I'm going to show you how the dangerous can be made safe with training. At my job, I could very easily;
Start a large grease fire,
Cause severe chemical burns to myself or others,
Suffocate myself or a co-worker,
Blind myself or a co-worker,
Infect others with minor to moderate food poisoning.
....................... I think the NSA just added me to their watch list.
Ahem, anyway, I bet you're wondering where I work that I can do all that. What if I told you I work at a movie theater? That's right. Without the basic training I got from my early days, I very definitely could do all that by accident. That grease fire is as simple as putting oil in a hot kettle without popcorn seed in it. There are a lot of cleaning chemicals I work with that are hazardous, including one that would do a fair amount of damage just by getting onto my skin. As for the food poisoning, this is why I have to get a food card every two years to prove I know how to avoid that. It's called the health code, and if I didn't know it, I'd be serving people under-cooked hot-dogs laced with whatever bacteria I carried with me. Not good.
So in that way, the dangerous can be made safe. Toss someone into my job with no training at all, and you'd probably have a kettle fire inside of an hour. They may panic, try to use water to put it out, next thing you know, our theater is on the 11 o'clock news after it's been reduced to ashes.
Now making popcorn is A LOT different than making sure rescued wolves don't bite visitors. For one thing, I don't think the wolves would care to have canola oil and seasoning salt in their fur. But even with the wolves, because the owner understands them, and knows how to handle them and those that come to visit, she has yet to have a single incident. I'd be willing to bet she never does, unless a visitor ignores what she tells them. Then that's on them for not listening to instructions.
I bet you all have training in something that, if someone who knew nothing about it tried it, would hurt themselves or others. For one thing, there's driving. If we hadn't learned how, we'd be pretty dangerous on the road. So what things do you know that, without training, would be disastrous if tried? It's been a while since I heard from my faithful followers. I bet some of you could surprise me with a job that seams idiot proof, but would probably get that "idiot" hurt or killed if he didn't have the same training you do.