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Stranded Colorado Conservationist Seeks Donors For Bus Motor

Written by Paul Day
SALT LAKE CITY (CBS4) - A Colorado man who provides safe haven for unwanted wolves found himself stranded in unfamiliar territory while traveling on an educational tour in Wyoming.

"Our bus died, our motor had a catastrophic failure," said Kent Weber, founder of Mission Wolf in a phone call with CBS4.

Weber, his wife Tracy Brooks, and three wolves were headed to the West Coast when disaster struck.

"We had to put our bus on a tow truck with the wolves in it and get towed 3 or 4 hours into Salt Lake City where we're sitting right now," Weber added.

Since Easter the Mission Wolf delegation has been camped out at Smith Power Products, a diesel engine repair center. They eat and sleep on the bus.

The three wolves -- Magpie, Abraham and Zeab have pretty much made themselves home.

"These are unusual wolves," Weber said. "They were born in captivity and enjoy meeting people."

Photo Gallery: Stranded: Mission Wolf

Meanwhile, Weber and Brooks are waiting to get their motor fixed and trying to figure out how to pay for it.

"We're selling t-shirts out here, we've got to sell a lot of t-shirts to buy this bus motor," Weber explained.

The original bid from Smith Power was $40,000. But after negotiation, they agreed to do it at cost -- $30,000.

"That's still way over our head for what we're used to working with," Weber said.

Mission Wolf Bus
The Mission Wolf bus (credit: Mission Wolf)

Fortunately, a deep pocket supporter of Mission Wolf agreed to match all donations up to $10,000.

Added to that, more financial help is coming in after Weber began telling Facebook friends about their plight.

On Friday afternoon he still figured to be around $12,000 short. He hopes to raise the necessary money in time to be back on the road by Wednesday.

Smith Power has been "ridiculously generous" but they're not extending credit to the stranded travelers from out of state.

"They've made it very clear, we pay cash and we drive the bus," Weber said..

The original travel plans called for a trip all the way to a museum in Bend, Ore.  Mission Wolf is scheduled to be part of a special program there celebrating the recovery of wild wolves.

"(Of) course when we canceled, it was a disappointment for everyone," he said.

But the museum has since rescheduled 3 days that had been sold out on the hope that Mission Wolf gets back on the road.

To make a donation, got to the Mission Wolf website.

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