The following was written by Pups at One Year Program participant: Kathryn Trussell Even though she was considerably smaller than the other pups, she made up with her voice. She was extremely vocal with Maya and Grizzer. Throughout her entire life, she always dominanted the deer carcasess. No wonder she weighed 95 lbs at one year. The pack, staff and public will surely miss Nyssa. The following was written by Pup at One Year program participant: Pete Trussell. I drove into the IWC parking lot in July 2004, the husband of a wolf pup nanny and left an ardent wolf supporter. In between, my life was forever changed as I was priveleged to meet the retired pack and interact with the wolf puppies in their enclosure (thanks, Lori). The experience with the pups was amazing. Their behaviors ranged from submission (even Grizzer) to wonderful kisses from Nyssa (she's missed by all). Thanks to the IWC, the Exhibit pack (now including the pups) and the retired pack for enriching our lives.
Written by Sandy and Candee Stoffel, participants in the Pups at One Year Program. What I remember most about Nyssa, was the first time I bottled fed her. She kept falling asleep on my face and I had to keep nudging her to wake her up. -Sandy. My favorite memory of Nyssa was when her and I had a little straw fight. I would take the straw out of her mouth and when I looked back at her, she had another piece sticking out of her mouth for me to grab. – Candee.
Nyssa is shedding more than any other wolf. Her undercoat is a lightish gray, so it tends to be more noticeable. Her coat may appear darker after she sheds the undercoat and is left with the darker guard hairs. She still avoids going into the pond unless she has to, versus Maya who'd like a torpedo (especially if there's a duck in the pond). Maya is the best hunter of them all.
Nyssa is doing well, she continues to be the dominant force on the carcass, proving that possession rights are more important than rank when it comes to defending a deer carcass. She's been a bit more interested in play behavior lately, maybe because Maya is more distracted with the stimulus of the pond. Nyssa didn't care much for water last summer, the same is true for the spring melt. She's more likely to be observed running around the pond, than through it.
PART ONE Written by Pups at One Year program participant: Pam Dolajeck My memory of Nyssa was this tiny, fragile-like wolf who seemed to win everyone over with her gentleness. As a pup, you just wanted to hold her and protect her. As she got older, you marveled at how regal she was, ever the princess. We will miss you. Your spirit will be forever free. Written by Pups at One Year program participant: Lori Rhodes My memory of Nyssa was her stunning black coat and intense eyes. It was as if she could look right through. I remember her as Shadow's shadow. You are forever in our hearts. Written by Pups at One Year program participant: Carol Mucha As a nanny, I must admit that my favorite pup was delicate but feisty Nyssa. I always enjoyed seeing her wake up from a nap and charge across the indoor enclosure to wake up her packmates. I miss her, but I am comforted in knowing she is at rest in a beautiful spot for our "Little Princess". Written by Pups at One Year program participant: Patty & Kate Kierski We will always remember her as a little black ball of fur constantly teasing and playing with her littermates. Written by Pups at One Year program participant: Johanna Goering May you be joyfully running with Kiana now in Heaven! Peace & love~Johanna
Nyssa received her complete medical exam including the surgery to spay her. She is recovering well in the pack holding area and doesn't appear that she misses the pack life too much. She has the biggest surprise of the pack, weighing in at 95 lbs. Yes, the staff weighed her twice, she weights as much as Shadow, although her streamlined frame is misleading. She does pack in a meal at feeding time, so it isn't too surprising if you watch her eat, but it is surprising if you look at her frame next to the others.
The following was written by Ann Rasberry, a significant member of the wolf care team. One Less Voice We have lost a voice from the pack. Nyssa is gone. We may not fully understand, but this is part of the natural order of things. An article on the International Wolf Center (IWC) web page notes that the second leading cause of mortality in wolves is wolf on wolf aggression. Wolf packs develop a structure which maintains order, and facilitates efficiencies in defending territories, hunting, and breeding. While the hierarchy may seem stable, lower ranking pack members are always testing, looking for vulnerabilities and opportunities to improve their status. Higher ranking individuals regularly remind the others of their places in the pack, enforcing discipline that can appear violent at times. As Lori Schmidt, the IWC Wolf Curator states, they live “in a world that is clearly run by wolf rules. Those of us who worked with the pups over this past year are especially stunned. We are upset because we named these wolves. We bottle fed, slept and played with, and cleaned up after them. We witnessed first howls, slow motion jaw spars, and watched as they fell asleep mid-wrestle. We nurtured them, and cherished the respect and bonds that we shared with these wild creatures. But we did not domesticate them; they are not dogs. Shadow, Malik, Grizzer, Maya, Nyssa…these are wolves serving as ambassadors for their kind, teaching us about ecology, pack structure and dynamics. For humans, some of these lessons are harsh. However, we must accept that these extraordinary animals are behaving as they are supposed to, and as they have since the beginning of time. We should not want it to be otherwise. Nyssa’s time was short, but her impact on so many will last forever. There is one less voice in the pack, but one voice that will remain strong in our hearts. Godspeed, Nyssa. Ann Rasberry 14 May 2005
Written by Tina and Ed Stimpson: Nyssa taught me that every living thing on this earth can make a difference and have an impact no matter how long of a time we have.
Written by Theresa Williams and Darin Groeneveld: What can you say except she was a wolf with a very special presence about her that will be missed greatly. For those of us who got to spend time with her, we will always hold a piece of her deep in our hearts and miss her in our lives.
Nyssa observed in a stalking and lunging behavior on Tuesday morning may 10th, as she waits to grab Grizzer as he runs by.
The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future.