26th February 2022
The calendar may have said February, but it was more like a spring day as we all arrived at the wolf centre. The day started as it often does with a Beenham walk. The wolves, resplendent in their winter coats, ambled along the usual route. They enjoyed the experience, sniffing out smells and, in Nuka and Tala's case, coating themselves in some of them.
We went past the Arctics' enclosure, with the white wolves grumbling and puffing themselves up, but the Beenhams didn't take much notice. Nor did they take much notice as a spooked deer darted away from us, crashing over a hedgerow further down the field. There was, however, time for a leisurely paddle in the pond and stream, along with some fuss and belly-rubs. The sun shone down over everything and the effect was remarkably serene.
The wolves went back into their enclosure, then we had lunch. Before giving the wolves their food, though, there was time for some maintenance work, tidying up some brambles and vegetation around the back of the enclosures. I briefly had an audience of Arctics, but they soon ambled away after realising that snipping brambles wasn't worth getting excited about.
The wolves then had their usual meal of chicken, beef and paunch, with the addition of some worming tablets in their beef. The Beenhams at least gulped the pill-filled beef down without even chewing it, which is a good thing... wolves can be very sneaky at spitting out tablets! Kites circled overhead, but we made sure they didn't get any of the wolves' food.
The day ended with us going into the Beenhams' enclosure. Our group was escorted to the wooden platform by Tundra and Tala, with Nuka bringing up the rear. He was in high spirits, bouncing along, glancing at me and, after a little bit of restraint his excitement got the better of him - he went zooming around us all, no doubt trying to get us to play "chase" with him. We can't chase him, of course, so he wandered off for a bit. He did come back after a while, though, and all the wolves stayed for a while. Eventually Nuka had enough and zoomed off, and as his sisters followed him we took that as our cue to leave. Mai, Motomo and Massak photos by Eve.
15th January 2022
A calm and cloudy morning greeted the volunteers as they arrived at the wolf centre. The first order of business was a Beenham walk and they were keen to come out. They set off at a slow pace and maintained that througout the walk, happily sniffing at the various scents to be found around the fields. The trough in the top field was frozen over and, after he pawed at it, we lifted the sheet of ice up for Nuka. He grabbed it, breaking off a small chunk, then repeated this until much of the ice lay on the grass. Satisfied, he whirled on a paw and pratically skipped along in happiness!
The rest of the walk was just as relaxed, the wolves ambled along, poking their noses into everything, then after a circuit of the lower field by the stream (and a short session where we made a fuss of the wolves, Nuka having flopped over) we popped them back in the holding area of their enclosure.
After a quick lunch, we split into two teams: one to cut back brambles at the rear of the enclosures, the other to pull the weeds out of the Beenhams' pond - something which involved throwing dozens of buckets of muddy water away from the pond in order to lower the water level. The wolves watched on and, once we were finished, investigated the work we'd done.
It was time to feed the wolves, as ever keeping an eye out for the kites (which hover around, hopeful of a free feed. Our aim, of course, is to make sure the wolves get all their food!)
With the feeding done, we went in with the Beenhams. The girls came over for a fuss and a neck-rub, while Nuka zipped around like a youngster. He did stop a few times for some fuss, but it wasn't long before he zoomed away each time, eager for us to play chase with him! After a while we said our goodbyes, headed out of the enclosure and left to go our seperate ways home.Beenham walk photos by Cammie.
New Year's Day
1st January 2022
Today the weather started off very promising with beautiful blue skies and an unseasonally mild New Year's Day. As we arrived, the three white faces of the Arctics were there at the fence to eagerly greet us into the New Year. Now our dear Torak is no longer with us it would be a very empty feeling not seeing a familiar face looking back at you in the top enclosure, although admittedly with Torak it was a more dignified stroll by, pausing briefly whilst checking you out - bless him.
After a catch up over coffee on our respective Christmas news - for most a quiet one! - we went to get the Arctics out. This was their first time out of their new enclosure since their recent move into it a few weeks back, so although a little apprehensive on coming out onto their hard standing area, with a little patience we didn't have to wait too long before Pukak thought it was a good idea. Once he was leaded up and strolling around on the outside, the other two soon made their minds up too and followed suit. Being naturally cautious intelligent animals it wasn't a done deal they'd come out when asked so we were glad when they did.
Once over the threshold, they were happy to set off on a lovely walk around the surrounding fields, the blue skies had now been replaced with grey skies and a couple of short showers, not that the wolves minded at all, at this time of year their coats are at their thickest which make them look even bigger than they already are. The walk proceeded at a relaxed pace as they rather preferred to sniff and roll on the new scents the rain had brought. Where two fields dipped down to greet each other the pond there was full to bursting which they took advantage of by all going in for a dip! before continuing on round then headed back for home where they enjoyed another dip, this time in their enclosure pond before resting up under their trees licking their paws while we went in for spot of lunch and a dry off.
Refreshed and ready for the next walk with the Beenhams who needed no encouragement to come out, we were off again on another set of fields which, due to the inclement weather, we had to ourselves bar one lonely walker and his dog in the far distance and a small herd of roe deer running away when they spotted us. Another chilled walk and all wolves happy to be out and about enjoying their surroundings.
While they settled back down, some of us got on with preparing their dinner, while others spruced up their bedding quarters. The light at this time of year is against us so after feeding the wolves, a quick visit in with the Beenhams for a few furry head rubs from them before it was time to say our farewells and hit the road once more. Write-up by Sue, photos by Deborah.