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Wolves in a Cool Summer – by Maria Ferguson


This has been the coolest summer, weather wise that we have had here in northeast Mississippi in the 11 years that I have lived here.  The Wolves and I are extremely grateful!  They are eating much better than they usually do in summer, finishing everything most days.  I can’t remember the last time we had a non-feed day.  Normally in summer we have one at least every week to week and a half.

They just finished the last of the deer we had in our freezers from hunting season.  This was the longest we ever went into summer with deer meat, thanks to all of the hunters who bring it to us.  The number increases every year and we couldn’t be happier for the Wolves as it is their favorite food.  Now they will only have to wait about three months for more usually it’s more like five or six.  We will be substituting pork necks that we get from our meat distributor for deer bones that they love to chew on.

I put together a short video of the Wolves playing, scent rolling and getting treats.  The howl at the end of the video was performed by Chito the other night.  I just happened to have my video camera lying on the table and grabbed it when I heard her howling.  Unfortunately it was pitch black outside and the camera didn’t pick up any images so I just put a quick sound byte at the end of this movie.  The crickets and frogs are singing along with her.  It gets very nature noisy here on summer nights.

The Wolves had a fun visitor in the middle of the month.  Beth W. Patterson, an Artist, Author and Musician took a tour to do research for her upcoming novel.  I was pleased that they picked something up about her that they liked.  They started howling for her the minute we walked over to the enclosure.  She later sang for them and even howled with them.  It’s fun to see them react to something that is out of the ordinary.  Naturally, if any of these things would upset them, we’d stop.  Enrichment is always an individual preference as far as Wolves go.  Some Wolves love it while others want the same old, same old.

Ohoyo was nursing a snake bite wound between her toes at the beginning of the month.  We gave her a course of antibiotics just to make sure the wound did not get infected.  I’m pleased to see that she is recovered and back to fence fighting with Chito once more.

woha-at-dusk.jpgWoha has been busy, busy den digging.  This is unusual for this time of year because it’s usually too hot for Wolves to expend that much energy.  It’s also been dry so the dirt is quite easy to move.  I spend at least an hour every day putting dirt and rocks back in den sites that are too close to the underground fence.  She lays there and watches me knowing full well, she’ll have me doing this again the next day.  I do love her spirit.  She has been running me over for treats lately.  She’ll come charging across the enclosure and literally jumps in my arms to get my attention.  She loves anything out of the ordinary.

waya-072014.jpgWaya is handsome as ever.  He seeks out my attention every time Niko Akni isn’t around.  I don’t get too much time to love on him before that boy Niko comes over and reminds both Waya and I that I am his.

Wa-ta-chee is doing great.  He pretty much has the run of the enclosure and is allowed to eat with the rest of the pack again.  I’m also able to give him belly rubs and butt scratches without being stopped by our Alpha Wolf, Chito.  I’m sure Chito will remind him again when breeding season approaches that he is no longer in charge but for now, it’s nice to see him enjoying himself.  He is a simple Wolf, smarter than most who loves food, good massages and quiet peacefulness.

niko-woha-july2014.jpgNiko Akni is awesome as ever.  I love looking at his extremely long legs in the summer.  He is just the coolest Wolf boy.  He is always so affectionate with his caretakers.  He loves playing with Woha in the evening.  He stalks her and chases her.  She is a very fast runner thankfully so she doesn’t get tackled too often by his huge Wolf body.  I just love seeing them play.  Serving as Beta Wolf, he always has Chito’s back in the pack.  Whatever she says goes.  They have a wonderful relationship, more like good friends than siblings.  He takes his job very seriously.

Chito is super Wolf.  She has complete control of what goes on in the pack.  Nobody would think of bucking her authority.  She also has a very sensitive side, too.  She only displays this with her caretakers.  She loves to rub up against us catching scents from new clothes items, bug spray or shoes.  Sometimes it’s hard to stay on your feet when she does this.  She’s a very big Wolf girl, over 100lbs and she just leans into you and rolls and rubs against you as hard as she can.  Imagine that your cat was 125lbs and rubbing on your legs, it’s like that!
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