The Wolves are in full Fall mode. Behavioral changes due to the eminent winter breeding season are evident. There are dominance displays between both males and females, the latter being more dramatic. Chito is really throwing around her weight with the pack. I’ve even seen Niko Akni change his mind about messing with her. She’s such a dominant figure in the pack now. I’ve noticed that she even seems to be chastising Wa-ta-chee, our Alpha Male at times. I also see her favoring Waya, our subordinate bachelor Wolf. I’m wondering if she has a displacement of the ultimate authority in mind for the pack this year. Niko Akni is beside himself about this. He backs his Father, Wa-ta-chee as leader of this pack with all his might. This has once again caused problems between him and Waya. I’ve seen some interesting interactions between the two of them. For the most part Waya puts up with Niko’s displays of dominance but occasionally he does stand up for himself. The displays are something to see. These two are huge and when they literally stand up against each other, you hold your breath. Luckily, so far, it turns into a standoff with the both of them just trying to be bigger and placing their heads over each other’s backs. After Niko performs one of these displays with Waya, he seeks his Father’s approval. He approaches him as low as he can go licking at Wa-ta-chee’s muzzle and whining like a pup. Sometimes right after this, Waya will take advantage of Niko’s groveling with Wa-ta-chee and try to dominate him. It doesn’t work and will usually result in a very noisy display between them. If Wa-ta-chee steps in as he does on rare occasion, Waya backs off.
Nita is back to being the Omega Wolf of the pack. She enjoyed a brief period of a raised position in the pack but it is evident now that it wasn’t permanent. Woha has once again outranked her. I will have to change her pack position in the adoption biographies and make it official. I was trying to hold off on that as the seasonal hormonal changes sometimes shed a different light on things but I fear it will only solidify her Omega status this year.
This year’s Wolf pumpkin fest took place on October 31st. Maggie (a.k.a. Musher Maggie) and Tom Zavodny brought treats and helped to carve the pumpkins. The Wolves had a great time. Enjoy the HD Video of Pumpkin Fest 2011.
The Wolves have been putting on some lovely howl concerts in the evening and we are recording them in surround sound for a new DVD. Yesterday, Don Ferguson, the producer was copying over files from the recordings and I actually thought it was the Wolves. He thought that was pretty funny because he heard me say over the phone that the Wolves were howling. So he played the same howl over and over again until I realized what was going on. Is it live or is it our Surround Sound DVD, you decide! This will be the ultimate in Wolf DVD’s when it is finished. I’ll keep you posted. Since Chito has taken over as Alpha Female and she loves to howl, the results are spectacular. Nita has finally come into her own as far as her vocal skills go and it is amazing how beautiful her voice has become. This is good for Ohoyo since she is now in a separate enclosure. It gives her a chance to feel part of the pack. She jumps atop one of her houses and raises her voice in song. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
The Wolves were moderately calm for Wolf Awareness Week. We heard our fair share of chuffs and Woha carried on a few times with distress howls. Wa-ta-chee patrolled the back fence as usual and Niko Akni took a new position guarding the front fence. I know he thought he was helping his Dad. Once they realize that no one would be entering their enclosure, they normally settled down. They are, after all, territorial animals.
Doc Harland came out to the Preserve to check on the Wolves and immunize the dogs. Everyone was healthy. The Wolves have not been happy to see him since he gave the males their vasectomies. I’m sure all of you guys out there are sympathetic.