Axel – Active and Expressive

This week’s photo displays a behavior easy to identify; we term it a “Squash” behavior.   One wolf literally sits on another wolf, squashing them to the ground.  This is typical of Axel; he is very expressive in his behaviors and very physical.  While this is likely a social interaction between Denali and Axel, you may notice Grayson is coming from behind with a high tail posture.  Axel and Denali seem to have a strong bond and are often observed wrestling, chasing and overall active behaviors.  This social bond may be paying off for Axel.  In the last few months, Denali has been favoring Axel at the Saturday evening carcass feedings, keeping Boltz and Grayson away from the carcass.  Grayson and Denali are a bit more contentious and certainly may impact future leadership roles. 

Staff monitor this closely by evaluating scat coloration and texture, which is influenced by the amount of meat in the digestive tract.  We also weigh the wolves, usually at the 2nd of the month that coincides with Axel and Grayson’s birthday.  

Tracking weights is an important part of pack management.  As noted in Axel’s chart, fluctuations in weight happens in winter, with some declines in weight likely due to more calorie output to keep warm.  Axel’s highest weight was in October 2017, when he weighed 110 pounds, now that winter is over, he is working his way back up to that weight. 


Date Wolf Weight in Pounds Weight change since last data Age 
10/2/2017 Axel 110.4 4.8 17 months
11/2/2017 Axel 106 -4.4 18 Months
12/2/2017 Axel  103.5 -2.5 19 months 
12/31/2018 Axel  101 -2.5 20 month 
2/2/2018 Axel  98 -3 21 Months
3/2/2018 Axel 98 0 22 Months
4/2/2018 Axel 100.5 2.5 23 Months 
4/30/2018 Axel 105.6 5.1 2 years