28th September 2019
A blustery day
An overcast and breezy scene greeted the volunteers as they arrived on Saturday. Wind can unsettle the wolves and that was the case with Mosi; even Torak was prowling around more than he usually does.
We took the Beenhams out for their walk and they rushed around as usual, not especially bothered by the roars and whooshes of the wind. Tundra scrabbled around in the hole in the top field and unearthed some diesel; she subsequently anointed herself by rolling on it. Nuka, meanwhile, found something much less savoury to roll in and for the latter half of the walk you didn't need to look to see where he was - you could smell him coming! There were no surprises for the wolves or handlers this time, with the exception of the log field. Tundra and Tala hopped up onto the log itself, where they used to pose for photos back in the day. Nuka, not to be left out, bounded up as well, which prompted Tundra to have a squabble with Tala. The results can be seen in the gallery below!
With the Beenhams' walk over, we then went to see if Mai wanted to come out. She was eager to and the route we took went past Mosi and Torak's enclosure. Mosi had been feeling a bit under the weather (it's a side effect of the medicine she's on), but soon perked up at seeing her sister strutting past! She engaged in some fence-running, while Mai calmly showed what she thought of that in a rather smelly manner. In the wild, wolves will scent-mark their territory with urine, saving faeces for more conspicuous areas such as junctions along trails. Mai demonstrated this well!
Mai then went on a long walk, at least by her standards. Aside from a single howl as Mai was led out of the enclosure, Motomo was silent: he could keep an eye on her from the eastern side of his enclosure. Mai went down as far as the Bourne, but then decided she'd had enough, turned around and powered up the hill. Although we kept a fair distance from the enclosures, Mai's walk hadn't gone unnoticed - aside from Motomo, the Beenhams and the Arctics all came over to the edge of their respective enclosures to watch as we went past. Mosi engaged in some more fence-running as we returned, then we let Mai back into the enclosure. Motomo was waiting expectantly, but as usual Mai ignored him and made for the corner by the Arctics instead. Seeing Mai on her walks reminds us all of how much she's changed over the years; it's hard to believe this confident wolf was once a shy, nervous youngster who would sometimes jump if the wind blew in Pennsylvania Wood, back when we used to walk her there.
We prepared the wolves' food (their usual chicken, beef and paunch) and there were a variety of outcomes: some wolves, such as Sikko, literally wolfed it down. Others, such as Mosi and Torak, had some food but then wandered off to bury some. We take that as a sign that they've had their fill, although even then they show their opportunistic nature: Torak, having wandered off to bury a piece of beef, had left a small piece behind. Mosi grabbed it and ran off to bury it out of sight.
With the feeding completed, we went in with the Beenhams. Nuka, after a quick "hello", wandered off to his favourite corner - no games today. He still reeked! His sisters stayed behind and engaged in their usual neck-rubbing and snuffling: Tala, it seems, likes the deodorant I wear and will try and stick her head up my sleeve. It doesn't fit, suffice to say. After a good stroking/rubbing/fussing session. the wolves then wandered off and that was our cue to leave. With the breeze still blowing, we said our goodbyes and headed off home.