Exhibit Pack Update – 15 September 2023

Last weekend we celebrated the Harvest Moon Festival here in Ely so our creative wolf care specialist, Abby Keller, made a scarecrow out of a variety of things: a gourd for its head, liver for its lips, frozen hay for its arms, legs and torso, and bison hide for its sash. When the wolves first saw the scarecrow, they displayed neophobic behaviors. Caz was the most intimated by the mysterious new figure. Rieka and Blackstone were the most curious, immediately approaching it and sniffing it. Axel was also very interested but was a little bit more cautious but was the first to grab a section of the scarecrow and left the scene with the head and liver lips. Grayson stood by and waited for everyone to disperse a little bit. Once Grayson approaches and takes the sash, he is followed by Caz which can be intimidating when you are trying to enjoy or eat something without competition. This is a very interesting example that demonstrates the differences in wolf personalities. 

We do these enrichments to stimulate wolves physically and mentally and it also gives us the opportunity to see each wolf’s preferences for what they seem to enjoy and investigate the most. This past weekend it was in honor of the Ely Harvest Moon festival, and we coordinated it with the Chamber of Commerce to offer eight fall harvest themed enrichments.  

Blackstone continues to be a little bit more timid about things. Caz showed a lot of parallel gating with Grayson this week and parallel howling. We watched him do a stand over to Grayson, so I think we’re seeing the onset of this male rank order fleshing out a little bit. 

Axel’s feeling better. We adjusted his meds and that seems to be making him feel a little bit more active. We have seen him socially interacting with the pack, including tail wags, and grooming behaviors with Grayson. When the yearlings approach, they have very low body postures, so still in a submissive posture towards the arctics. Certainly, this male rank order is going to be a little bit more established as time progresses and we transition from fall into winter. 

Speaking of fall into winter, we had an overnight frost that required us to add a little bit of hay for the wolves and they seemed to appreciate that decision. Hay is also a great place to cache and come back to it later. We took down our misting system to make sure that lines didn’t freeze. Preparing for the cold a little bit earlier than usual. 

The interactions between Rieka and the male rank order are something that we’re kind of watching. Who’s Rieka spending a lot of time with? Who is Rieka sleeping in proximity to? But you know it’s a little early yet so we expect some of that will probably show itself closer to November, December, and into January and February where we’re going to see a little bit more seriousness. Right now, it’s just life in the pack. It is pretty relaxed. We take care of their needs, and they can just be wolves and that’s really our objective in Wolf Care.