Pups instigated mobbing of Lakota, all three in den. Mackenzie and Lucas show interest in chasing Lakota, but not as actively as pups. Later, pups and Mackenzie observed chasing Lakota into den

One comfort wolves like it the ability to curl up in a clean straw bed. The retirement pen gets extra care to have enough beds for all 3 to gain some comfort and relief from old bones. The arctics seem to like the comfort as well, so straw is provided on a weekly basis.

Installed heated waterer for retirement pen, MacKenzie and Lakota are interested in the wooded area between the highway and their enclosure. Jen Westlund did an exterior enclosure check but found no signs of digging or activity.

Lakota was aggressively nipped by Mackenzie after something happened up in the wooded portion of the enclosure, out of sight of the observers. It may have had something to do with the pups as they came running out of the woods several seconds before Lakota did. Lakota submitted quickly for several seconds, then circled back toward the pups. At which time, both Lucas and Mackenzie began nipping her in the hind quarters to get her to submit again. After Lakota submitted, Mackenzie stood over her for several seconds.

Sorry for the lapse in logs, I was at 2 professional conferences in the last two weeks; Wolf Care staff took great care of the wolves in my absence. As a distraction, I fed a donated Bison pelt to the Exhibit pack. Lakota is doing very well, she was a bit disgruntled that her pack didn't get the bison hide, she had to settle for a bucket of beaver parts. She has been very active, observed in several chase scenes throughout the enclosure.

Lakota dominated the deer carcass at the last feeding, a definite sign that she's over her bacterial infection. She's been extremely playful and been very observant of the snow depth as it relates to the fence height. Fortunately, the retired wolves don't jump as high as they did when they were younger, but that doesn't stop them from having checking out a potential adventure. Wolf care staff are monitoring the snowdepth on a daily basis and will likely dig a moat before the week's over.

Lakota is back to her old, playful self. With two doses of antibiotic a day, she seems to be more active and has resumed being the joker of the retired pack. She has been observed spending her time either gnawing on a tasty bone or frozen beef block or playing a game of chase with Lucas around the pen. If anyone is interested in donating to Lakota's vet care bill, please feel free to submit a check to the International Wolf Center 1396 Hwy 169, Ely, MN 55731. Put "Lakota's Vet Bill" on the envelope address as well as on the memo line of the check. Thanks, the retired wolves appreciate your help…So does the Curator.

Lakota is doing well, she seems to get more active every day the temperatures reach below zero. She springs around the pen jumping at low hanging tree branches and the occassional wolf care staff hat. It's hard to believe the sick, anorexic wolf at Thanksgiving is the same lively burst of energy we see today. Wolves are incredibly remarkable in their ability to heal and overcome adversity. The thick hides of the wolves are well designed for the Minnesota Winter.

There are no significant behavioral issues to report this week. All wolves seem to be enjoying the fresh snow which seems to fall daily. The only issue is the depth of snow and the height of fences (especially the retired enclosure). The wolf care staff are continually shoveling the winter waterers, paths and gates to ensure that day to day operations can continue. This week's log photos are reminder's of the days, months and years of care that's been delivered at the IWC. When winter arrives (as it has this year), the work can sometime seem overwhelming. Staff often talk about the good old pup days (we forget how much work pups are when the snow flies) Enjoy the pup pictures…

Staff fed Lakota 4 lbs of meat with several cups of warm meat slurry. Lakota is still using the upper den hole as her primary area of concentration, but she if frequently seen moving throughout the upper enclosure.