3rd July 2021
An overcast and humid day at the Trust - luckily most of the wolves are now in their summer coats and weather doesn’t bother them. Mai is hanging onto her winter coat still but it’s not unusual for her to do that until late July. And as a lady of a certain age, a little extra covering is welcome.
Due to their enclosure needing a good trim and tidy up, the Arctics are currently having a summer staycation in the holding pen next to Torak. They enjoy a change of scene and Torak seems to like having neighbours for a short time. The only thing is, the Arctics like their temporary home a little too much and aren’t always inclined to come out for a walk, as was the case today. Sometimes they treat coming onto the yard like a game, dodging around the door to the kennel and play bowing, trying to encourage us in to play with them. Unfortunately for the wolves, playing with humans is not encouraged so today they stayed in when it became obvious walking was not on their agenda. They were content to laze about and watch the comings and goings on site.
The Beenhams, on the other hand, were very keen for some enrichment and set off on their walk with purpose. It soon became obvious why - there was a dog walker on the public footpath which crosses the Trust land. The locals are used to the wolves being out on their walks and keep their dogs well back so there are no encounters but the wolves are very interested in the smells they leave behind and follow the scent through the fields.
The recent warm and wet weather has meant there is a lot of plant growth all over the site and the Trust owner and volunteers are busy keeping it in check. This means moving the wolves around which is easier with the socialised animals but moving Motomo from one enclosure to the other so it can be tided is a trickier prospect due to him not being hand raised. He’s a canny boy and knows exactly what’s going on so it is a real battle of wits to move him calmly and safely. Today he gave us the runaround by loitering by the gate that divides the enclosures and only going through when he knew no one was close enough to close it before he nipped back through. Like the Arctics, it became a game to him and at that point, he knows he’s won so his move will wait for another day. Wolves are clever!
There’s always plenty to do on site so kennels were cleaned and beds laid with fresh straw, the tortoises had some outdoor time while their hutch was cleaned and the wolves’ food was prepared. They had a real treat today - volunteer Craig had brought in some fresh salmon for them. It went down very well, although Nuka decided his piece was better for rolling on than eating. He ended up festooned with little pieces of fish and looked rather pleased with himself. Once he was bored, Tundra moved in and ate the scraps he’d left - that salmon wasn’t going to be wasted!
The day ended with the wolves content and fed, resting in their enclosures. Update and video by Nikki, photo by Ella.