‘Miracle Wolves of the Butte Fire’ Rescued After Digging Tunnels To Survive

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MOUNTAIN RANCH --

The raging flames of the Butte Fire have created quiet scenes of destruction in Mountain Ranch. Five months later, many trees are still charred and some homes are still piles of rubble.

One family lived alongside a pack of wild wolves.

"Their habitat in Mountain Ranch had been almost completely obliterated by the Butte fire," said Dr. Leslie Holsapple, from the Angels Camp Veterinary Hospital.

As flames approached, the animals found an unusual way to escape; they started furiously digging, creating a 15 foot tunnel.

"So it was very ingenious that the wolves were able to create these tunnels and burrow down," said Dr. Holsapple.

After the fire, the Wolves' owners came back to the property expecting the animals to be dead. Shockingly, they were alive.

The only problem: they couldn't live there anymore, so they contacted Jonathan Kraft at Keepers of the Wild.

"She was in tears on the phone. She said, 'We don't know what to do with these wolves. We'd hate to euthanize them, but they have to come out of there.' So I said let me see what I can do," Kraft explained.

This week, the Arizona-based rescue group released a video, sharing the story of the so-called "miracle wolves of the Butte Fire."

It explains how a team came to Calaveras County, where Dr. Leslie Holsapple from the Angels Camp Veterinary Hospital helped during the 10 hour process of capturing and tranquilizing the wolf pack.

"They've really calmed down quite a bit, but they're definitely still very wild wolves," said Kraft.

Now, these wild wolves are thriving in their new home on a two acre habitat in Valentine, Arizona.

The miracle wolves already have the attention of a film crew who tagged along with the Keepers of the Wild as they came to their rescue. They'll be making a documentary so everyone can learn about their story.

Originally it was a pack of five wolves, but the alpha male has since died of heartworm disease.