We are getting signs of an early spring here at WHAP, our ornamental trees are blooming, and robins are popping up all over the place along with bunnies. The Wolves are starting to show the early signs of losing their thick winter undercoats. The challenging part for us Wolf caretakers at this time of year is covering up dens dug in bad places. The natural instinct of the Wolves at this time of year is to find a place for the pregnant female to safely birth her pups. Our Wolves are no different. This happens every year without fail. Now, our Wolves are not going to have pups so we know it isn’t an urgent matter, but they don’t know this. So, almost on a daily basis, someone is trying to dig a den. It is mostly the beta Wolves who are in charge of this task. At Wolf Howl it is Woha and Niko Akni. Our demanding task as caretakers is to insure that these dens are not dug to close to the underground fence. When they are, we have to fill them in with rock and dirt. This does not make the Wolves happy as they have spent a lot of energy in digging them. They are QUICK den diggers. We always hope that they try digging one under their stone den because it would be a perfect spot and no worries for us. We have both started digging there hoping to give them the idea of finishing the task. We are hoping that someday they will take the hint. In the meantime Chito is really pressuring the pack to come up with something. When we are filling the dens back in, she is berating the other Wolves, Woha in particular.
The Wolves have been very loving with their caretakers. Ohoyo and Wa-ta-chee have a special fondness for kissing me. Ohoyo gets up on the fence when I’m unlocking gates and when I go to greet her she gives me a big sloppy kiss right in the mouth. Watach seems to give me kisses in reward for scratching his back.
Waya and Niko are still posturing, as you will see in their Valentine’s Day celebration video. I’m looking forward to that stopping soon. They don’t really hurt each other it’s mostly for show but it sure is noisy and you don’t really want to be around them when it’s happening or you may get caught in the crossfire. Having a hundred plus pound Wolf with a purpose plow into you never feels good.
The girls, Chito, Woha and Nita are so loving with us at this time of year. They rub against us so hard that they almost make you fall over. Nita takes my hand gently in her teeth if I stop rubbing on her. Woha is in love with Don and follows him around like a lost puppy. Chito plops down in front of me soliciting belly rubs anytime I’m near.
This Valentine’s Day we brought in some cookies as a treat. There is a cute Wolf video of this celebration. The first Wolf you will see is Ohoyo. I don’t think she tasted a cookie but she sure did enjoy rolling on them. The second Wolf you will see is Nita. I was carrying in the pan of cookies in one hand and trying to video record with the other. She being the Wolf that she is decided to capitalize on this. She jumped at that pan from the minute I entered the enclosure until I was able to set them down on the tub quarter way into the enclosure. She makes me laugh. I was spinning around deflecting her so sorry for the crazy recording at that spot. I did manage to save the cookies, though! They keep me young! All of the Wolves managed to get some cookies. Nita seem to really enjoy them as food!