We were a lean team today although just enough to get the Beenhams out, (Nuka, Tala and Tundra), hooray! Sarah, our Senior handler today, arrived and did the wolf count first, then let us all in to warm up before we got started on our day.
A couple of us went down to the Beenham enclosure to lure them into the holding enclosure with a tin of smelly sardines in oil. They go bonkers for this and all came racing up for the tid bits. Nuka practically salivated and desperately tried to get his tongue through the fence to lick out the tin – not allowed due to sharp edges!
It is easier to get them onto the hard standing from the holding enclosure as they are keen to come out of there, although it is a large space. Trying to get them in from the main enclosure has in the past resulted in the 3 of them playing what they think is a fabulous game, running around 2 acres, just out of reach, while we watch helplessly… You can’t chase a wolf and they don’t come and sit on command!
They all came flying in to greet us and we got their collars on easily. Nuka was once again turbo charged and set off at a fast pace. The girls were hot on his heels and we set off across the fields for a thorough investigation. Nuka in particular decided it was serious scent rolling today, finding some wonderful smelly deposits to roll in, When I suggested he may like to go in the pond and wash it all off, he dutifully obliged but did have his sights set on the pond anyway.
Having just acquired a GoPro, I tried it out on the walk today and you can see some of the walk here – the wolves had a loud howling session before we went out and the Go Pro sound is quite impressive – the link is here
Luckily the rain held off and we had a lovely walk with them. At one point all 3 stopped and stared at the field in the distance full of sheep. Usually they take no notice of them at all but today they were stubborn to move on. After a few minutes we could see why – there was a dog walker with dog in the distance that we just did not see. Incredible how their noses and eyes pick up so much more than us mere humans.
After the wolves were back in their enclosure we prepared the food for all 10 of them and I bathed the tortoises while Linda made up some fresh food for them. After this we all had a general cleaning session in the various rooms at the trust. Craig went off with a variety of tools to do some pruning behind the enclosures. He didn’t return before I left, an hour or so later, not even when we had a heavy hail downfall – now there is dedication for you.
Deborah and Veda made up some smelly sacks as enrichment for the wolves, making the food shed smell more like a spa than the usual butcher shop smell!
As it is breeding season, none of the other wolves are going out for walks as they can become a bit too feisty, so it’s best to leave them with their respective mates. We did see if Mai wanted to come out as it is good for her to get extra exercise and keep the strength up in her back legs. She did come out but within a few minutes couldn’t bear to be away from Motomo and marched her handlers back to the enclosure!
Torak was patrolling his enclosure in a very masterly way as he does during this time of the year. He is keeping a very watchful eye on Mosi who appeared quite disgusted with us when she didn’t get out on a walk.
The Arctics were keen for some interaction with us through the fence and of course, we obliged! We plan to get them back out for a walk at the end of February. Their breeding season is usually about 4 weeks ahead of the rest of our wolves. Massak, the alpha male had been showing some aggressive (I am the boss) behaviour to his siblings over the last few weeks, but it looks like this is waning now.
We threw all the sacks in for the wolves before we left, giving them something to entertain themselves with during the evening. A few wolves made a cursory roll on them and stalked off but we have no doubt they will not look like sacks the next day.
Once again a fabulous day at the trust with the wonderful wolves. Update written by Eve.