https://wolf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/grayson_bz_squirrel.jpg 1653 2500 Lori Schmidt https://wolf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/IWC_logo_white2a-300x127.png Lori Schmidt2020-08-21 14:48:022020-08-21 14:48:0221 August 2020
Center Staff do enrichments for the Exhibit Pack three times a day, at 12, 2 and 4:15 CDT.
We try many different things, and as the summer goes on, we have noticed that the wolves have their preferences. Some of those preferences include: blueberry ice cubes(Grayson especially loves crunching on them), frozen soup bones, bonedust pucks, coconut halves, as well as beavertail popsicles, beaver feet popsicles, and deer leg popsicles. Staff throw the popsicles in the pond, to encourage the wolves to go into the water and cool off on hot summer days.
Overall, the wolves didn’t seem to show much interest in the watermelon, citrus fruit, or spice(oregano, cilantro, basil) ice cubes we tried throughout the summer. Another enrichment that we do is to spray cedar oil on the wood chips under the eaves of the building, and on top of the dens. Cedar oil helps repel insects, which helps the wolves, (especially Boltz) feel more comfortable.
Staff have also had success getting Grayson to take food during the afternoon enrichments. Grayson is more timid when it comes to taking and defending food, especially from Denali. It can be a challenge for Grayson to get food when he knows Denali is around. In the afternoon(usually around 2), Grayson is often willing to come to the fence and take food when he knows Denali is sleeping up the hill.
Sometimes enrichment isn’t something provided by the staff. Lately, Grayson and Axel have been observed chasing after the red squirrels and chipmunks that make it into the enclosure. Sometimes the small mammals make it into the trees before they can be caught. That doesn’t stop Axel and Grayson from watching the trees closely, and even jumping up on the trunks. Chasing after tree- dwelling visitors is a very stimulating activity if you are a wolf!
Written by Assistant Curator, Leanne Martin