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Wolves and some of their Favorite Things – by Maria Ferguson


the_pack_thanksgiving-2011-2.jpg

woha_thanksgiving_2011-2.jpgLate Fall brings our Wolves some of their favorite things.  They received their first deer of the season.  It was a doe that was hit by a car and our neighbors happened to see it and brought it over to the Wolves.  Normally we receive carcasses from hunters and then we take the stomach and bowels out.  This time because it was the first of the season, we decided to give them the whole deer, it’s a good enrichment activity.  I took some video.  It’s a bit graphic for some so if you don’t have the stomach for that kind of thing, skip this Wolf video.  I’ll have another one for you later in the newsletter.  We cut off a hindquarter for Ohoyo and gave the pack the rest.  You will see that it’s hard work for them to get a good opening.  I’m sure Wolves in the wild who do it all the time are much more efficient at this.  It does give you an appreciation of just how hard it is for them to make a living, though.  Imagine the hunt, which has to be exhausting, and then having to tear the ungulate open.  It’s no wonder they gorge when they finally get to eat.  Our Wolves are well fed and during any other time but hunting season, they eat everyday.  Wolves in the wild sometime can go for two weeks without a decent meal.  Our Wolves love deer meat and when hunting season is over, it’s very hard for me to get them to eat chicken again.  That’s why I always add something else to their diet on a daily basis like liver, hearts, ribs, roast, cheekmeat, oxtail, etc.  It sparks their appetite and gives them a little variety.  I’d also like to mention that during this time and running through February the end of deer season, feeding times in front of the webcam will not be normal.  We bring them the deer when they arrive, so they are still fresh and most times still warm.  I’d also like to explain that even though you may only see a few Wolves at the carcass at a time, they all do get plenty to eat, even Nita, the Omega, who you will see in the video eating the deer.  They clean these carcasses until they are just bits of bone.  They eat pretty much everything on the deer.  Since the beginning of November they have received 5 deer.  We actually cut up and froze the last one because they received 2 on that day and the first one was a whole deer.

Another thing we do for the Wolves in the winter is give them hay or straw.  We couldn’t find straw for the second year in a row so we brought them hay.  We put some on their den floor and the rest spread out for them to lie in by the webcam.  They love it.  I put together a video of this event.  There are also some very cool pictures from the webcam of that evening.  Howling in the hay……..

All the Wolves are posturing for the up and coming breeding season.  So things get a bit noisy in there.  We closed for the season to give them as much peace and quiet as possible.  Normally on a tour we do a couple of demonstrations but for this last tour it was causing some fights to break out so we knew it was time to give them some space to deal with their hormonal changes.  ‘Tis the season.

watach_thanksgiving_2011-3.jpgFor Thanksgiving, I made the Wolves and dogs pumpkin pies.  They were served with whip cream and ice cream.  They love the whip cream especially.  They also like to roll on the pumpkin pie till it’s all stuck on the fur of their necks.  Luckily we had some good rains since then.  For some reason that I haven’t figured out yet my videos of the event except for the first one of Ohoyo had nothing but a red or gray screen and just the audio.  Sorry about that.  It’s a new camera that I’ve only used a few times so I’m hoping I just hit something on the touch screen by accident.  The Wolves received a deer the night before so Thanksgiving for them was plentiful.  We are grateful for our neighbor’s who share their harvests with our Wolves.  Thank you.  It makes them so happy and I know that is what they are really supposed to be eating.

I’ve added photos to the following Wolf pictures galleries:

Wa-ta-chee

Chito

Niko Akni

Nita

Woha

Ohoyo

The Wolf Pack in the Fall of 2011

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