Logan couldn't have looked any less intimidating, sprawled out on the floor, seeking attention from his handler.
The 75-pound ambassador wolf was part of an educational program at the Linden Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
His handlers, from Ironwood Wolves in central Ohio, set out to dispel myths about the wolf during the July 26 program.
Wolves are not aggressive, do not howl at the moon or hunt people, nor are they aggressive around humans, said animal trainer Rachel Lauren, co-founder of Ironwood Wolves.
"All those things are false," she said.
In fact, wolves generally are afraid of humans, she said. Not that Ohioans have much to worry about; The last time a wolf was spotted in the Buckeye state was in 1840. Much of the wolf population has been pushed into rural areas and national parks, Lauren said. The ambassador wolf is somewhat different than gray wolves, the only species to inhabit North America, Lauren said. Ambassador wolves, or wolfdogs, have been bred with domestic canines to produce a socialized animal that is comfortable around humans, she said.
"He was born with a purpose," she said, referring to Logan.
Ignorance of the wolf, or seeking to eliminate the animal's threat to livestock, thinned out its existence in the United States, Lauren said. Yet, when the wolf was reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park about 20 years ago, it had a dramatic, positive effect on the ecosystem by helping control other animal populations, she said. Despite common misconceptions, wolves are not big, usually weighing about 100 pounds. Their bite, however is strong, and necessary because the wolf eats all of its prey, including the bones, Lauren said.
The 15 or so children who attended the library program appeared to be absorbed by the presence of Logan but seemed disappointed that they weren't allowed to pet him.
The wolf visit was part of the library's Summer Reading Program, which offers many educational opportunities for youngsters across the city.
"We tie everything we do back to reading," library spokesman Ben Zenitsky said. "If we have a program about wolves, then our goal is to get a book about wolves into the hands of every child who attends."