Though we’d had very dry weather, it has been pleasantly cool for the most part. The Wolves are more active especially during the evening hours. They can be seen moving their tub around on the Webcam at night. They can be heard howling and growling for most of the night.
In the wild Wolves would be courting. We see evidence of this with our captive Wolves. The girls are starting to vie for the males’ attentions. The males are becoming more affectionate towards the females and combative with the other males. As a result of the slowly rising hormone levels in both the males and females, we will see more dominance displays and posturing. These behaviors will culminate with the Wolves actual breeding season, which is once a year during the early winter months.
Chito is the firm Alpha Female. Woha is dominating over Nita again. It appears that Nita is back to being the Omega of the Pack. Woha seems to want to correct Nita and Chito lets her until it gets too rough, then she intervenes and usually winds up chastising Woha. It’s a delicate balance in there. Cute story about Nita and Chito today. A neighbor who hunts brought the Wolves over a dozen squirrels. Don made a game of distributing them. He was tossing them all over the enclosure like flying squirrels. Nita got one of the first ones and brought it into the stone den. Chito had one that she was guarding outside of the den. After we left the enclosure, we heard a ruckus. Nita had snuck around the side of the den and stole Chito’s squirrel. Chito was furious and tackled her. After a lengthy quarrel and wrestling match, Nita managed to run into the den with Chito’s squirrel. This is a place where Nita can out maneuver Chito because she’s smaller and can actually stand up inside of the den. Chito is too tall and has to hunch over or crawl when inside the den. Chito followed her in and we heard more fighting. Chito then emerged with Nita’s squirrel. So, basically it was a swap. I can not believe Nita’s nerve sometimes. She is not happy unless she begs, borrows or steals another Wolf’s food.
Niko Akni has been posturing over Waya again. I’ve seen Waya try to stand up to him when Niko pursues him relentlessly. I’ve been witness to a few brief scuffles with both of them up on their hind legs in battle. Waya, so far, always backs down. I think he does this for two reasons. The first reason being that he likes his position in the pack; it’s kind of a no pressure job. The second being that he fears Wa-ta-chee will jump in to defend his Son’s position. The nice thing is that the male Wolves seem to get over these squabbles quickly where the females drag it on and are absolutely more vicious about it.
September 22nd marked the 6th year anniversary that our first three Wolves, Wa-ta-chee, Waya and Ohoyo came to us as 5-month-old pups. They gave me the best anniversary presents I could have ever asked for. I was leaving the enclosure after feeding and cleaning for the night. Nita was standing near the gate and started to howl as I reached for the latch. I always acknowledge a howl by standing still and not making any noises. I dropped down on my haunches and howled back to her. Before I knew it I was surrounded by every Wolf in the enclosure and they were rallying with me. The most beautiful chorus howl they could have delivered began. I howled right along with them. Woha was standing right behind me. I could feel the vibrations of her soprano howl inside me. Waya and Chito were sitting a few feet away and their deep howls filled my ears with sound. Nita stood to the other side of me and Wa-ta-chee was perched on the platform singing away. Ohoyo stood by the isolation fence at first and then eventually took her place on one of her houses to join us. I'm thinking this lasted about 10 minutes. I stopped and started howling right along with them, but they definitely were running this show. This was a first time they allowed me to participate with full trust while I was inside the enclosure. I felt like I was finally a real member of their pack.
I captured a short example of a mini chorus howl on video for you. All of the WHAP females participated. They were scattered around the enclosure and of course Ohoyo was in her own so I focused on one or two Wolves so I wouldn’t make you sick by swinging the camera around. Hope you enjoy it.
Ohoyo, Mama Wolf is doing fine. She has the most gorgeous winter coat already, so thick and lush. She got two squirrels today and immediately buried one for later.
I’ve added some new photos to their galleries. Here are the links. The new photos will be at the top.