MacKenzie still has a dense undercoat from the winter that she needs to lose. Staff are brushing her, but the hair just keeps on shedding. With this dense undercoat coming to the surface, she has taken on a more lightish appearance. When she is completely shed, her guard hairs will appear more black, with the exception of the graying muzzle.
Between Lakota and MacKenzie, we are seeing more anxious behavior from MacKenzie with the loss of Lucas. It may be related to her behavioral personality, or it may be, as a dominant wolf, she shared more bonding moments with Lucas as the dominant male, but whatever the cause, staff are increasing efforts to make her feel more relaxed. As I type this, I am watching two staff members in the enclosure with them, their behavioral responses will be closely observed over the upcoming weeks. MacKenzie also has been late in shedding, her photo this week shows a thick main of undercoat.
MacKenzie is very alert to the noise of the construction across the road. During this past week, she has been pacing a bit, but settles down after some time alone. As previously loggrf, her favorite new spot is just beside one of the den boxes. She also enjoys laying down on the grass, and getting some breeze from the sprinklers.
In last week's logs, there were comments about MacKenzie having anxiety over the sprinkler hose over her head. The hose was re-positioned, to follow the north fence line. She still seemed anxious and responded by increased activity, which was problematic during the heat. The Center's veterinarian was concerned about a risk of heat stroke, so he prescribed some treatments to increase serotonin levels, in an effort to help her relax. On Friday, the Wolves at Two years program participants arrived and noticed MacKenzie's stressed appearance, but by Sunday, they found MacKenzie to be relaxed and calmer, even with a work project in the adjacent pack holding area.
Wolf care staff monitors the wolves daily, even on Easter Sunday, meds were delivered and wolf curator, Lori Schmidt, is on site for the afternoon writing wolf logs, and checking that all wolves are healthy and content for the night. It is important that the Retired wolves are checked several times a day, even the slightest decline at this age can be critical. We are happy to report that all wolves are enjoying the straw beds, the warm sun and the quiet Easter Sunday afternoon.
The logs this week will all contain the same text… Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow. A spring snowstorm dumped nearly 30 inches of snow on the Ely area on Saturday and Sunday, leaving the wolf care staff to shovel, clean gates, blow snow, clean cameras, uncover heated waterers and pick up dead branches from trees that couldn’t support the weight of the wet snow. The wolves enjoyed the snow, although a few of the branches startled Maya. It’s not unusual for a spring snowstorm, but with temperatures usually in the 40’s and 50’s they go quickly. This time, the weather forecast doesn’t predict much above 40 degrees this week, and there are a few more days of snow predicted. Enjoy the webcams; I’m sure you will see the wolves romping through the snow.
The following text was written by Workin’ for Wolves participants: Andi Nelson and Lori Rhodes. During the Workin’ for Wolves weekend, participants helped with spring clean up of the retirement enclosure. In Mac’s photo this week she’s demonstrating a dominant stand over Lakota; possibly a direct result of the anxiety over the noise and activity generated from wolf lab cleaning. The retired wolves, at fifteen years of age, are adept at demonstrating hierarchy displays although they may appear more subtle than their younger counterparts.
MacKenzie has been showing more dominance over Lakota in the most subtle ways. Her most common dominance display is a stand-over which is shown in Lakota’s photo this week. She is definitely feeling better with the adjustment of her anti-inflammatory dose. Her video shows good mobility and movement for a 14-year old wolf…
As noted in Lakota's logs, the retired pack turns 15 in April. We are very pleased with MacKenzie's mobility. Her video this week shows a very steady gate and she is very alert to the actions of the wolf yard. We have noticed her sleeping very soundly though. Earlier today, when Wolf Curator, Lori Schmidt, entered the compound at noon to check on the wolves, MacKenzie was sound asleep in the straw in front of the den boxes, it took several calls of her name to get a response. We're not certain if that's a hearing issue or just a very restful sleep. It is nice to note that the Retired Enclosure remains calm enough that these wolves can get the rest they need.
Wolves tend to display repetitive behavior and are not usually tolerant to changes in their territory. MacKenzie demonstrates that well in this week’s video. Her typical routine is to pick through the best portion of the food provided, and take the food back to her straw bed in the corner of the enclosure to consume it.
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