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The Sights and Sounds of Wolf Howl Animal Preserve in January – by Maria Ferguson


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I’m certain that all of our regular newsletter readers know that the Wolves go through some rough times during December and January at the Preserve.  There is, however, one aspect of the season that I enjoy and that is the fantastic winter chorus howls.  That coupled with the fact that we now have an Alpha Female, Chito, who loves to sing gave me the opportunity to let you see and hear what it’s like at the Preserve during January.  My husband and I live at the Preserve and our home is about 150’ from the Wolf enclosure.  The Wolves serve as my alarm clock with their sunrise howl that they perform each and every morning.  I just happened to have the video camera lying on the kitchen table on one of these January mornings and decided to share the experience with our readers.  I didn’t compress the video as it was shot from a distance away so as not to interfere with their song.  On this particular morning the howl lasted almost 14 minutes and I have it broken up into three parts.  In the first part of the Sunrise Wolf Howl, you will just hear their voices, as it is still quite dark outside.  In the second part of the video you will see day beginning to break and by the third part you will be able to see some of the Wolves howling.  I also took advantage of my video camera being close by to record a daylight howl for you so you could see them better.  That is broken up into two uncompressed videos entitled Daylight Wolf Howl Part I and Daylight Wolf Howl Part II.  Even though I have been living with Wolves now for over 5 years, I still love hearing them howl.  It has become part of my life and I think I’d be devastated if I couldn’t hear a full blown chorus howl at least once a day.  I hope you can hear and see the beauty of a Wolf’s song and the other sounds made during a chorus howl, such as whines, chatters and chirps.  It is another reason to fight for the freedom for Wolves to recover in the wild places on this earth.  A howl is a wildlife anthem that should resound in all wild places on this planet.

Mother Earth was kind to our Wolves by giving us a decent snowfall on January 10th.  The Wolves enjoyed it so much and a neighbor brought them a deer, which just added to their delight.  They have been getting so many deer this winter that it’s gonna be rough getting them back to their regular diet when hunting season is over.  A special thanks to our neighbors for thinking of them and taking the time to haul the deer over to us.  They truly eat almost every last bit of them.  It’s amazing how quick they are getting at it too.

As January comes to a close, I can see signs that we are on the down swing of breeding season.  Gradually the Wolves will become more like their old selves.  The boys and in particular, Waya have been so loving with me.  He follows me around a like my shadow when I’m in the enclosure much to Niko Akni’s display.  Niko has pretty much claimed me as his pet caretaker.  Today, January 29, I was happy to have Chito approach me for some petting and cuddles.  It has been a bit rough with her lately, between her new position and raging hormones; I tried to stay clear of her for the most part.  I knew she considered me entering the enclosure other than to feed an intrusion. 

Woha and Ohoyo have started fence fighting with each other.  It’s more noise and annoying than anything else.  Sometimes Chito joins in.  Nita stays out of it.  I think Nita sometimes genuinely misses her Mom.  Ohoyo coddled her.  I also think Wa-ta-chee misses Ohoyo as well.  It’s tough being a single parent even for a Wolf.  He sometimes sits by the gate that separates the two of them for hours.  He doesn’t face her though which I don’t quite understand.  I do catch them rubbing on each other up and down the fence, though.  She, however, shows no sign of wanting to be back in with the pack.   She is happy being a lone Wolf of sorts.

I’ve updated their individual and the Pack Wolf picture galleries with some really nice photos of them that I took on a snow day in January of 2011.  Remember to click on the thumbnails for a larger view.  Here are the links:

The Pack, Winter 2011

Wa-ta-chee

Chito

Niko Akni

Waya

Nita

Woha

Ohoyo

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