We are doing pack updates a bit differently in the logs. This text is the narrative from the Youtube channel which is done weekly. This allows details to be searched a bit more efficiently and logs to be posted more frequently.
Every morning we bring the pack into what’s called the pack holding area (PHA) which is adjacent to our Wolf Care Center (WCC) building and the Wolf Lab. The younger animals walk into the WCC and get weighed but often they’re distracted by things like chipmunks. Caz jumping to catch the chipmunk is a good demonstration of why wolf fences should be 10-feet high with an overhang. They can also get distracted by vegetation or in some cases berries. We are almost done with the berry season, but there’s still a few low hanging Mt. Ash berries on the trees. They also get distracted by things in the trees, like birds that have been starting the fall migration might land or hit the exhibit windows or it might land and eat some seeds. We also have wasps that have been around as the drought increases. The yellow jackets and bald-faced hornets seem to take advantage of that drier condition and that means we have to apply a little bit more fly ointment. We often will have the wolves help the process; we spray the fly ointment on the rocks and let them scent roll. Because they go into the pond, we’re very cautious about what we use. We do use a lot of cedar oil, lemongrass, and peppermint. There are some other chemicals that work much more effectively but because they go in the water, and they eventually drink that water we want to be kind of mindful of what we put on the wolves. We already observed and recorded Caz dunking his head underwater for approximately 16 seconds. He has no problem sticking his face all the way down in to identify some things and so does Blackstone. The wolves can see the bottom of the pond and they try to figure out how to strategize to get their feet in and bring something to a shallow area so they can reap the benefits. Blackstone often gets ice chunks with a little bit of meat inside as enrichment since it has been so hot, as it has in most of the country. Today, temperatures dropped, and we had 39 degrees this morning. We certainly can appreciate Canada and Northwest winds as this cold front moved in and made it a little bit more manageable for the wolves. When it’s hot we like to get them in the shade, keep them on cool rocks and we like to make sure that everybody’s comfortable. Then there’s the pack social dynamics that come with cooler weather, so we’re starting to see activity and dominance ramp up a little bit here in the next few weeks, we also know it’s not out of the realm of possibility to get snow in September. Once we get snow the wolves get very active.
Check out these links from the Timberwolf Alliance for wolves that are jumping for berries and from Voyageurs Wolf project for wolves dunking their heads for fish –