Wolf enrichment activities at Wolf Howl Animal Preserve - by Maria Ferguson
I have to start out this article with thanks to the Adoptive Parents of Waya, Watachee and Ohoyo. Our Adopt a Wolf Program is just starting its second year this month. We have done so many extra things for the Wolves that have enriched their lives in captivity thanks to the proceeds from this program. We have purchased pumpkins, stone ledges, pig’s ears, mints, rawhides, watermelons, turkeys, Easter eggs for the hunt, materials for their new platform and metal crates for transport.
September 22 of this year was the 1st anniversary of their arrival here at Wolf Howl Animal Preserve. I received a wonderful surprise check from Adrian McNeill who is the adoptive parent of all three Wolf kids. He was generous enough to send them a check with their names on it several times this year. I hopped in my truck and headed over to the store where I purchased three plush Halloween toys and a spray bottle of raccoon urine. When I arrived back at the Preserve, I was greeted at the fence by Waya, Watach and Ohoyo. They could sense my excitement for them and immediately stood up on their hind legs whining with anticipation. I pulled the bag containing the toys out of the truck and set the toys against the fence, giving them a quick spray of the scent. Ohoyo and Watach became apprehensive but Waya was fascinated and tried to reach through the fence to grab them.
I ushered the three amigos into the isolation area and went into the main enclosure to hide the toys. Their excitement was mounting. There were even a few howls to be heard.
I opened the gate to the enclosure and all three Wolves bounded out into the main enclosure. Within seconds Waya and Ohoyo were playing tug of war with a witch, see short video. Waya won and Ohoyo went after the pumpkin that she had so much fun with before she tore it to shreds. See video 1 Ohoyo. Watach was a bit overwhelmed by it all and mostly avoided his Sister as she was shaking her plush pumpkin with all her might. See video. Waya had the most fun. See him tearing up Frankenstein in this video and Ohoyo stealing what she could from the remains. I had my enrichment activity picking up the stuffing and clothes for the next few days but it was well worth watching the Wolves have so much fun.
I would also like to thank Alex Coyle adoptive Mommy of Watachee for sending the Wolves one of their favorite treats, mints. Though they were at first apprehensive of the tub they came in; they quickly overcame their fears to partake in this scent rolling Wolf delight.
We are now waiting for an order from the Animal Sanctuary for the Wolves new stainless steel drinking buckets and food pans. We also ordered them three different enrichment sanctuary toys and huge nylabones with a mint flavored center.
If you would like to learn how you could participate in our Adopt a Wolf program, click here. Adoptions are greatly appreciated.