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The Wolf Howl Animal Preserve Wolves Update, April 2010 by Maria Ferguson


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The Wolves are all healthy and happy.  The pack is really eating a lot of food which isn’t unusual for this time of year seeing they would have young to regurgitate for if they were in the wild.  Instincts are very strong in them.  Three Wolves have completed blowing their undercoats, Wa-ta-chee, Waya and Woha.  Chito is almost done except for a few places on her back.  She really doesn’t like when we try to help her.  She’s an independent woman.  The rest are in the throws of it and look pretty bad.  Niko Akni will stand for hours and let us pick it off of him.  Ohoyo likes it when my husband, Don grooms her much better than when I do it. 

wolf.jpgWe had some trees removed from their enclosure that were causing us concern.  One was a very tall but spindly Sweetgum Tree that a bend in it not too far up from it’s base.  It caused us concern, as we were afraid that it would get blown down in a storm.  The way it was bent would certainly have it crashing down on the isolation area and outer fence.  After reading about Bays Mountain Wolf enclosure breaches this year due to trees and limbs falling, we decided to get this done immediately.  We also had a Cedar that was dead, not real tall but tall enough to damage the fence taken down and another tree that was close to the fence topped.  This winter when the trees are all dormant, we will have all of them topped for total peace of mind.  We received a very fair quote from John Zinzer who own American Tree Service, a local company.  He was very good and we were confident in his ability, Last year when we had the pine trees removed from their enclosure, the guys who did it caused us much anxiety.  John knew exactly what he was doing.  He couldn’t just cut it down; he had to climb, cut and lower to the ground.   I video recorded the whole thing.  It was very cool and interesting to me.  I hadn’t seen anyone do this in real time only in movies.  I really edited this down and am only showing you the biggest tree.  You will be able to see the Wolves in these videos as well.  First Niko was the nervous one pacing about and standing up on the isolation gate in a plea for me to let him out.  The sad part was watching Wa-ta-chee and Waya get more and more stressed out by the minute until both of them became sick to their stomachs.  I was very grateful it was a cool cloudy day.  It is very dangerous for a Wolf to reach that stress level when it is warm outside.  Anyway, John and his helpers made quick work of it and within a few hours, the Wolves were happily back in the main enclosure with many new scents to roll on.  I hope you enjoy the videos and find the removal of the Sweetgum as interesting as we did.  Between the wind, my mumbling and the chainsaw it isn’t always easy to hear what I’m saying.  The video starts out with me narrating that it is Tree Trimming Day at WHAP.  The Wolves have been in isolation since the night before.

Tree Removal Part I – way up there

Tree Removal Part II – Timber!!!!! And the stressed out Wolf boys

Tree Removal Part III – All over, Wolves get to go home

We were very glad to have those trees out of there as we spent the next weekend for the second weekend in a row with strong thunderstorms and tornadoes all around us.

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For fun and enrichment purposes, I put chicken wrapped sweet potato treats in a big box in the Wolf enclosure.  Funny to see the big bad Wolves all fearful of what that box was gonna do to them when they stole the treats from it.  Wa-ta-chee as expected would have nothing to do with the whole thing.  Woha dominated the situation and had Chito and Nita fearful of her more than the box.  She eventually got the same treatment from Waya that she had been dishing out to her Sisters during this event.  You will notice that even though the growls sound bad, that nothing is actually happening to the less dominant Wolves.  They know the rules and behave appropriately.  Woha is a tyrant though.  You will also notice that she doesn’t bother the three males or her Mother, Ohoyo.  Wolves that were bullied and Wa-ta-chee being shy were given treats out of my pocket instead of the box.  Enjoy the video.

The Wolves and the Sweet Tater Box

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