Boltz – Sand Pile Posturing

We know that insects congregate towards vegetation.  Whether it’s black flies and leatherleaf or yellow jackets preying on the insects that congregate in the vegetation, Boltz takes issue with their presence, no matter what they are. In an effort to give Boltz some relief, we had a 5-yard load of sand delivered to the wolf exhibit.  We use the sand to fill holes, but more importantly, the wolves use the sand as a resting place.  Combined with the Center’s misting system, the sand provides a cool, insect free place to rest.  In this photo, Boltz responds with some intimidation to Axel’s presence on the sandpile with ears pricked and turned sideways (EPTS in the Ethogram).   Boltz seems to have accepted Grayson’s posturing, but something about Axel continues to make him nervous.  Leadership of this pack next fall may still be contentious as leadership is not just about dominance, but it’s about alliances.  We know Boltz has an alliance with Denali, but as Denali ages and transitions into retirement, Boltz will be left to transition into new relationships.  From current observations, Grayson seems to be the preference for Boltz.