All the members of the Wolf Park community are in mourning today after the loss of the Park’s founder, Dr. Erich Klinghammer. He passed away the morning of October 6, at Lafayette’s IU Health Arnett Hospital, at the age of 81. Dr. Klinghammer had suffered from polycystic kidney disease for much of his adult life, and had been on dialysis for 12 years.
As a professor of ethology at Purdue University, Dr. Klinghammer started Wolf Park in 1972 using his own property, and his personal funds to create the 75 acre facility outside Battle Ground, Indiana. With the support of many who donated both their valuable time and money, the Park has grown and thrived. As a 501 ( c ) 3 non-profit organization, it now maintains a Board of Directors, staff of eight, and dozens of volunteers who do the work to keep the organization strong.
Dr. Klinghammer is well known for his study of wolf behavior, contributions to the process of socializing captive wolves, and his English translation of the sixteen-volume Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. A native of Germany, he came to the U.S. after World War II, attended the University of Chicago, and became a professor at Purdue University in the 1960s.
The passing of Dr. Klinghammer leaves hundreds or perhaps thousands of people saddened, those whose lives he touched. But they are also ready to carry on the Park’s mission and to carry this passion for wolf advocacy and education into the future. This will mean that Dr. Klinghammer’s legacy will be ensured for generations to come.
A viewing and funeral service will be held on Sunday, October 9 at the
Soller Baker Funeral Home in West Lafayette, Indiana. The viewing is
4-7 pm, and the service 7-8 pm, Eastern Daylight Time.
The Park is planning an event celebrating Dr. Klinghammer’s memory, which will be held on December 4, 2011 at 10:00 am. Click here to read more about this event, which is open to the public.
Gifts in memory of Dr. Klinghammer may be made via our donation page or via the PayPal button below: