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In Memory of Wa-ta-chee 2005 – 2018
We had the privilege of having Wa-ta-chee in our care since September of 2005. He was 5 months old when he came to us from a zoo in Ohio. He assumed Alpha male status during the winter breeding season of 2007. He subsequently fathered 4 beautiful wolf pups with Ohoyo. He was a great Dad. From the moment the pups were born he tried to help. We had made a little den for Ohoyo to give birth in and filled it with straw. He was always trying to push straw back into the den to keep those pups warm despite the growls and snarls that this drew from Ohoyo. He was also very good at feeding the pups once he could regurgitate for them. I felt sorry for him, every time he ate when they were young pups, they would chase him down begging for food. He never could resist them.
He was also a fair Alpha. He seldom disciplined pack members and when he did there weren’t any injuries from it. Wa-ta-chee gave up his position as Alpha to his daughter Chito in 2011. We admired the fact that he was able to stay in the same territory as they were in after this change. There was a period of adjustment for him but soon he was pretty much doing what he wanted to do amid the pack.
Our Wa-ta-chee loved to eat. He was huge. Chito tried unsuccessfully to slow him down and so did we. He was always a determined opportunist when it came to meals. We just couldn’t defeat his appetite.
He absolutely hated parties even though the rest of the pack really enjoyed them. He was also the Wolf that when visitors came, nervously hung out at the back of the enclosure guarding the pack. He was very grateful when we retired them from the public in August of 2017.
Wa-ta-chee loved to give his caretakers mouth kisses especially right after he ate raw meat. We cringed but allowed it as it was the wolf way to show mutual respect. He loved to have his lower back scratched. When we would stop, he’d gently put his mouth around our arm and put our hand back where he thought it belonged. This always made me smile.
Wa-ta-chee loved the winter and especially the snow. He acted like a pup in the powdery stuff. His howl was gorgeous. I loved to listen to him sing during the winter breeding season. He would do solo performances nightly.
I found Wa-ta-chee unresponsive on the afternoon of November 2, 2018. He had been up and about that morning. It appeared that he passed away peacefully in his sleep. Wa-ta-chee was 13 ½ years old. He will be sorely missed by his caretakers and the remaining Wolves. Run free sweet boy.