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Wolves in July at Wolf Howl Animal Preserve – by Maria Ferguson


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Most of our July days have come with heat advisories.  It’s been hot, humid and ultra sunny.  The Wolves cope by chilling for most of the day.  They find a shady spot and settle in until dusk at which time they eat and Wolf around.

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I try to bring them cool treats, ice or their tubs in late morning so they will have something to help get them through the summer heat.  On this particular day, I tried 100% fruit popsicles.  It’s hit and miss with new things and the Wolves.  This was a miss; they’d much prefer plain ice cubes to the popsicles.  Niko Akni did seem to enjoy licking some of the different fruit flavors but wouldn’t put them in his mouth.  Ohoyo did try some but preferred to scent roll on them instead.  I recorded the event and you may view it below.

During the hot summer months, we only schedule tours for early morning and late afternoon.  Our Wolves and in particular Woha and Wa-ta-chee get stressed when visitors come.  You have to be very careful not to stress them out when they are hot, the combination could be deadly.  Those times seem to work for them and are also kinder on me and our visitors.  Even though Visitors enjoy seeing the Wolves and in particular when they howl for them, they are also glad to get in the air conditioned gift shop.

Woha during the last few seasons has become the “Watch Wolf”.  When people come the first thing she does is give them a few short chuffs in hopes that she can intimate them away.  When that doesn’t work and they keep walking closer to their enclosure, she then gives a few short barks which will then escalate into distress howl.  If the group sticks together as they are asked to do, this usually stops in a relatively short time.  When it is particularly bad, I do the demonstrations first instead of last and they seem to relax.  Their concern is that people they don’t know will enter their enclosure.  This of course doesn’t happen but they still are concerned that it may.  Wa-ta-chee paces at the back of the enclosure, he is never happy with visitors.  He loves the peace and quiet of everyday routine.  Niko Akni, Chito and Waya are always curious enough to come up to the fence and take a look see.  Lately, I’ve noticed that they are howling more often and for longer periods of time when people are here.  I used to really have to prompt them and at times they just wouldn’t sing for Visitors.

They all have been eating pretty well for summer.  We haven’t had to have a non feed day yet, knock on wood.  They just finished up the last of their deer meat from hunting season.  This is the second year in a row that it has lasted that long.  I believe this contributes to a good appetite as it’s their favorite food.  Now, I’m challenged with coming up with good appetizers or as I like to say, “appiteasers” to keep them eating through these hot months.

We have a new Wolf webcam and it is awesome.  Check it out and make sure to look at the far right corner, it’s where the girls Chito and Woha lay during the day.  When the leaves fall off the trees you will see lots of Wolves.  The picture is updated every 30 seconds.

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