14th July 2019
Thankfully today was a lot cooler as we had 4 walks with the wolves to do.
First out were the Arctics and all 3 were very keen to get out, although once collared up, Massak took his time coming out of the hard standing. He behaved as if he hadn’t been out that way before. He soon got over himself and we set off with all 3 sniffing and scenting along the way. Sikko was very keen to try and find anything to carry around to taunt her brothers but we managed to steer her away from any suspicious objects!
We came back over the new bridge successfully with Massak and Sikko but Pukak was having none of it! We all had to go back over the bridge to collect hm and come back into the trust via another gate that they all have no problem with.
Mosi and Torak came out next. They’d been hanging around the fence all morning as they had seen their handlers so knew a walk was possible. Mai came out for a while as well, not with Mosi and Torak though! She is more keen to spend a bit more time out now her hormone levels have dropped back to normal levels.
We then set off with the Beenhams who thoroughly enjoyed their walk as usual. We came across Lara who has known them since they were born and it was great to see the wolves greeting her.
The food having been prepared, we all fed the wolves who are eating more lately. We spent some time in with Nuka, Tala and Tundra afterwards. We were greeted with licks and head rubs followed by them laying upside down and expecting their human slaves to give them massages of course we did! We could see and feel how full their bellies were after their food today.
After locking up and securing the site, we all went on our way with a smile, grateful for another wonderful day with the wolves.
Write-up and photos by Eve
6th July 2019
It was a sunny morning as the volunteers arrived, with the forecast promising a cloudy day to come. As usual, Mosi greeted the arrivals and before long we were heading out into the sunshine with the Beenhams. At this time of year the sun is strong, and the wolves stopped several times in shady areas for a bit of a fuss.
The walk was largely uneventful until we were passing by one of the wheat fields: Tala found a tennis ball, much to her delight, and proudly strutted along with it in her jaws. She carried it for a while, then decided to try and bury it amongst the trees next to the field (all the time with Nuka and Tundra being most keen to acquire it from her). Tala couldn't dent the rock-solid ground, though, and ended up leaving it amongst the wheat. I'm sure she'll remember where she left it, but so too will the other wolves!
On the way back we went along the wooded passageway leading to the new bridge. The wolves still won't cross the bridge, but they did at least get close to it from the other side. It hopefully won't be long before they go back to crossing it.
With the walk completed, the volunteers split up in order to do some work. There were various tasks: the ever-present strimming of weeds, the hand-pulling of weeds elsewhere, gutter clearances, water trough filling and fiddling around with the webcam in the pole barn. For the first time in many a month, the webcam over Mai and Motomo's enclosure now shows pictures during the daytime, as opposed to a plain white image!
After lunch (for us and the wolves), we went in with the Beenhams. Nuka was happy to flop on his side for a belly-rub, while his sisters were up to their usual antics, with Tundra rubbing herself gleefully over everyone. When I spent some time with Nuka he was eyeing me up, ready for his game of "Jack in the Box" - but it wasn't to be, as his sisters decided to have a squabble right next to us. Nuka wandered off elsewhere for some peace and quiet as a result.
Nuka was the last wolf to leave us and when he did we said our goodbyes and headed for home.
A summer's day30th June 2019
Just 7 volunteers working today. The summer is always quieter as we compete with holidays and festivals that volunteers like to attend. As long as we have enough to take the wolves out it doesn't matter. The bridge that went through into the log field has been repaired and the Beenhams have taken a dislike to it. Wolves can be sensitive to the slightest change that we would not even notice. At the moment they are refusing to walk through there so we are taking them around the back of the trust and then past the enclosures of the other wolves. If you needed waking up on a Sunday morning this will do it as they can become quite feisty with each other at this point. Tundra will try to dominate Tala and then Nuka steps in to tell Tundra off. This is due to the frustration of not being able to get to the other wolves. Once into the next field it is all back to normal and we enjoy a couple of hours walking. The weather thankfully much cooler than the day before.
Once the Beenhams have finished we then took their Mum Mai for a short walk. She doesn't want to leave Motomo for too long at the moment. We deliberately took her to the bridge as she has no issues there and she went straight through. The hope is that as wolves learn from each other they will see her going through and realise there is no danger. They will also be able to smell wolf paw pads rather than new wood.
After the walks we got their food ready. They had been left Melon today for enrichment. We always like to mix up the way they are fed to prevent them getting bored. The melons were scooped out and then stuffed with tuna, sausage meat and corned beef.
Most of the wolves just grabbed the melon and extracted the bits inside. Giving them one each is guaranteed to ensure there is a little bit of competition as they do like to be protective of their prize. As we left the Arctic enclosure we could hear much growling and jaw snapping. Sikko did not want to share.
Tundra was the only wolf I spotted who was actually munching the melon itself and she seemed to be enjoying it. After food it was time to spend a bit of time with the wolves although Nuka was more interested in going for a dip in the pond.
Another great day.
Photos and write-up by Cammie.