In the last few month's prior to retirement, Shadow was very tense when any of the other wolves approached. This could have been related to his aging condition and overcompensation for dominance as he began to physically age. The pack is very calm since Shadow's retirement, and Aidan has benefited greatly. With Maya under less tension, Aidan has been less of a target, and was observed swimming during a recent enclosure enrichment, something that he hasn't done in years, likely due to the lack of a quick escape in the water. Aidan has been showing some dominance, and the following notes were observed by Wolf Ethology Students: Kara Lindberg, Kathy Shaw, Emily Perry, Jim Shero <br> Aidan has been very attentive to interactions between all of the pack members. Shadow initiated multiple howls, to which the pack responded. Aidan joined in these responses and stood near the other members of the pack , both of which are recent behaviors for him. Aidan has been initiating play bouts with Denali and has begun to assert dominance over Denali. One interesting interaction included Aidan pinning Denali while about ten feet away Maya pinned Grizzer. Aidan and Maya held the pins for several seconds. Also, two times this week Aidan and Maya were seen parallel gaiting together.
In the last week, staff have noticed a considerable calm over the Exhibit Pack, specifically related to Aidan and Maya. Aidan is freely going into the pack holding with Maya, frequently on the greeting rock, and always at the fence for morning vitamins. These are behaviors that were not always the case a month ago. We have also noticed a stronger association between Aidan and Grizzer than had been previously observed. This association is not as strong as Grizzer and Denali, but worthy of noting. The Center is re instituting a program called Wolf Watch. This program occurs the first Thursday of every month, and involves training program participants in data collection, and having the observers camp out in the auditorium for a night of observation. We hope to offer this program the first Thursday of every month, and be able to interpret the pack dynamics without the influence of wolf care staff interactions with the wolves.
The following log was written by Wolf Watch Observer: James Peregrine<br><br> Aidan has gained confidence as indicated with the "Direct Stare' photograph this week and the Raised Leg Urination or RLU's. When Maya comes down to the front of the Exhibit after being in the woods, Aidan becomes timid with a tucked or T-4 tail. After a few moments, Aidan seeks Maya's attention by doing foreleg stabs to Maya. Denali licked Aidan's legs, a grooming behavior. This behavior lasted over 7 minutes. Overall, Aidan is semi-timid with the other wolves, but shows confidence in later points.<br> <br> Note from the Curator <br><br> As a reminder, the Wolf Watch program will be scheduled the first Thursday of the month until the pack dynamics settles into some defined leadership. For more information, check out the Program tab on the website under Seminars…
Aidan has been displaying some very interesting behavior. While watching the interactions between the other wolves, he would paw the ground with his front feet and then kick out with his back feet. He was observed displaying this behavior once every 10 minutes. This behavior is interpreted as social behavior from a wolf that wants to join pack activities, but may be a bit intimidated. It's a modification of the playbow, and certainly reinforces Aidan's social engagement in this pack. In an effort to learn more about the pack dynamics (post Shadow retirement), we are resurrecting a program called Wolf Watch, which occurs on the first Thursday of every month. Check out the Programs tab on the wolf center home page, Wolf Watch programs are posted under the Seminar tab.
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