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More about the Wolves at Wolf Howl Animal Preserve by Maria Ferguson


I’ve finally conformed and joined the 21st century with a purchase of a smartphone.  Though resistant as I have been, because I feel people spend entirely too much time tied to their phones, I have found in this short few weeks that it will allow me to bring more of our Wolves to you on a more consistent basis via pictures and video.  I’m sure our facebook followers have noticed the increase in posts.  The video below entitled, All the Wolfies Sing, is a compilation of several videos that I took during the month using the amazing device.  At first most of the Wolves were afraid of this strange new gadget.  Then the bolder ones, Woha and Niko decided to try and taste or steal it.  Wa-ta-chee remains afraid and will literally run away when I pull it out of my pocket.  Chito made me laugh so hard I cried.  I had just got done video recording them howling and was playing it back.  The look on her face was priceless.  I’m sure she was thinking I had a pack of Wolves trapped in my phone.  Then she started to sing with the recording and all the other Wolves joined her.  I couldn’t even hear what I recorded as every time I played it, they sang.  I also played some of the music I had on my phone for them.  They are fans of American Idol, now.  In particular, they love the video of Jordin Sparks and Trent Harmon singing, To Love Somebody.  Chito actually watched it.  In the up close shots of the Wolves in the video, they are checking out my new jacket and the phone.


I’m surprised that the Wolves are already starting to lose their winter coats.  It has been a strange winter in north Mississippi.  Our Husky, Nashoba blew is winter coat weeks ago.  I honestly don’t remember that happening here ever in February and we’ve been here for 13 years.  The Wolves also did not use their den once this winter.  It just didn’t get cold enough for them.

With breeding season officially over, it is now den digging time.  This keeps us as caretaker’s busy shoveling dirt back into dens that are too close to the underground fence line.  The Wolves glare at us.  I’m sure they are thinking, “Hey, we worked all night on that”.  As most of you know our Wolves will not reproduce.  Our males have all had vasectomies.


Recently, I heard a comment on a Wolf video on facebook.  It was from a volunteer at another Wolf Sanctuary.  She was talking about Wolves while a Wolf stood behind her.  She was trying to keep him in the camera lens by feeding him hotdogs.  Shortly after, he became bored and wandered off.  She made the comment that Wolves have short attention spans to explain why he left.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  They can be extremely focused, obsessive, actually.  I take in this instance that he just became bored with the hotdogs and the video.  We are not their primary focus. If you think about it, if they did indeed have short attention spans, they wouldn’t be very good at hunting.  Sometimes a hunt can take the better part of the day waiting for the right opportunity to seize their prey.  Now, her experience is with captive Wolves which are different than Wolves in the wild that must work for their supper.  In my many years of experience with Wolves, I’ve noticed that they have amazingly long attention spans, sometimes much to my dismay.  For example, they are not happy when I put Frontline on them so they will scatter when they smell it or see me applying it to another Wolf.  I used to try and wait it out hoping that they would forget what I have in my pockets but that never happens.  Sometimes it takes days to get it applied.  There have been many times through the years that I only manage to get one Wolf a day.  Here is another example that just happened yesterday of how focused they can be.  I was cleaning up scat in the enclosure, a daily chore and notice some rocks that needed to be put back along the fence line.  I started to pick them up with a shovel and put them back against the fence.  Niko suddenly appeared and stood about 7 feet away from me.  I could tell he was concerned.  I asked him what was wrong and solicited my hand thinking he may need some attention but that wasn’t it.  I sensed that something was amiss.  He was not happy with me.  It took me about 10 minutes to finish putting the rocks back and he stood there watching me the entire time.  As it turned out when I walked away he quickly went over to the fence a few feet from where I was working and dug up a chicken quarter he had cached there and ran away with it in his mouth.  That is not a short attention span!  He was concerned that I was going to shovel up his prized stash and put it in the scat bucket.  When they want something they are relentless in their concentration.  Anyone who has been here on a tour when Woha decides to chuff and distress howl can attest to the fact they have long attention spans.


All of the Wolves are doing great.  Chito and Niko are bossy as usual but that is what it takes to maintain order in the pack.  They are both good at it.    Wa-ta-chee is doing fantastic.  He is becoming friendlier especially with our male caretaker.  It only took him 10 plus years!  Woha is settling in to her Omega position nicely.  I’m so proud of her.  She resisted for so many years but seems to be adjusting nicely now.  Ohoyo still fights with Chito through the fence.  She is definitely the aggressor.  She really knows how to push Chito’s buttons.  She’s doing great for an old gal.  I feed her first everyday and she takes her favorite item out of the pan before I set it down.  She then prances with it next to the fence line showing Chito what she has.  It always starts a fight.  Sometimes Woha even gets into it.  Ohoyo is such a funny, tough girl.


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