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The month began as a typical August month in Mississippi, hot and humid. The Wolves were resting during the day and becoming more active at dusk. We had a visit from one of Chito’s bottle feeders, whom she adored, three days before she died. I’m so glad he made it back to see her before she left us. Jeff was a volunteer bottle feeder for us and then worked for us for awhile in the summer. He is out of state working on his Masters now so we don’t get to see him much. He gave her treats and we gave her a sock with his scent on it. She was laying on it when she passed away. Chito loved to have something to cuddle with.
In the video below the first two scenes include Chito. The first shows Caretaker Don petting Niko Akni. Chito walks over and does her usual plop down on her back to solicit belly rubs. Caretaker Don tries to accommodate. When Woha arrives things become a bit more difficult for him. I will treasure this footage of the girl. It makes me smile to see her getting one of the things she loved most, belly rubs. The next scene shows Niko, Chito and Woha getting treats from Jeff. Chito was in the middle. Chito passed away 3 days later on August 9, 2017. She was 10.5 years old. If you haven’t seen her memorial slideshow, you can watch it here. The last two scenes show Ohoyo getting groomed by me and then Niko Akni and Woha getting some much needed cuddles from Caretaker Don.
The Wolves have been very quiet. I haven’t heard them howl since she passed away. I fear that they feel their numbers are too small and that howling will make them vulnerable. One night recently I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought it was a howl that I heard. I’m not so sure it wasn’t a dream. Chito was our songstress. She just loved to howl. They are really grieving for her. Niko Akni adored his Sister and he has been lying on the spot where she passed away. I don’t know if it’s because he can still smell her scent or if it’s just that she made such a good place to rest. She was a master at making a comfy bed in the ground.
The end of the month brought us the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. Though we didn’t have anything remotely close to what Texas suffered; we did have tons of rain for a day and tornado sirens going off around us. The Wolves really don’t seem to mind bad weather like their caretakers do. If it gets rough, they go in their stone den. Normally, they will just stay out and take a much needed shower. They do like when we put their food in the den when it rains, though. Wet food is a pet peeve of the WHAP pack.
We feel that retiring them from the public eye was the best decision we could make for them at this point. They will no longer have the stress of people they don’t know staring at them. They have served as ambassadors of their kind for 12 years. We thank all of you who understand how important it is. They are still available for viewing on our webcam. You may also follow us on facebook or continue to get the newsletter which will have video and pictures of the pack.