What are the wolves up to?

Further photos and updates are available on the "UKWCT Friends" Facebook group.
(Please note: the group is not an official UKWCT site; opinions and views posted there may differ from those of the UKWCT.)

Previous updates are available:
June, Mar-May, Feb, Jan
Dec, Nov, Oct, Sep, Aug, Jul, May/Jun, Mar/Apr , Jan/Feb
Nov/Dec 2018 and Sep/Oct 2018

Please note:

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, there will be fewer updates than usual. The wolves are still receiving excellent care from our volunteers, there are just fewer of them on site.


18th July 2020

We all hit the deck running upon arrival at the Trust today. There was lots to do - walks, moving the Arctics, mowing, strimming, lopping, digging all the grass out of the tortoises’ sand pit!
We all split up and got on with our various tasks and the day grew warm.

The Arctics refused to budge out of the holding area next to Torak, despite walking the Beenhams up to them. None of the wolves were interested in each other and so the Beenhams, after having a sniff around, were put back in their holding area as we were going to lay a food trail for them.
After some time, along with a lot of patience and cunning one Arctic at a time was moved. Pukak was first and once into the full enclosure and got his bearings, was straight over to Mai and Motomo to start their favourite pastime – fence running. Next was Sikko and finally Massak. There then ensued a lot of wagging tails and fence running. It was good to see them all enjoying themselves.

All the food was prepared, along with coconuts! We laid the food trail for the Beenhams and enjoyed watching them hunt around, sniffing out all the food pieces strategically placed by us.

Mai came out for a walk and demanded her handlers plucked her now loose fur. Every year she sheds very late into the summer, as did her sister Mosi. On the walk, just like her son Nuka, Mai took an interest in the tractor, rubbing herself along the tyres. During the day, Mai and Motomo were also given a smelly sack that they both enjoyed tearing apart and rolling on.

We topped up the troughs again and noted quite a few wolves were having a dip during the day.

Torak went out for a walk, striding out in his usual aloof manner, enjoying himself. Torak also had a smelly sack that he rolled around on and took it further into his enclosure no doubt to destroy it!
We fed the rest of the wolves. Mai and Motomo and the Beenhams had coconuts today which they devoured despite their full bellies from their earlier meals. The Arctics got ice lollies and crunched their way through the ice to get to the goodies inside.

We went into the Beenhams' enclosure and enjoyed their happy greetings with lots of head rubs and demands for belly rubs and scratches. They seem to have moulted completely now, with just a few guard hairs still coming out.
We put the tortoises inside for the night, where they made a beeline for their new cuttlefish Nikki had brought in for them.
Red faced form the heat, tired but happy we all took our leave having had a very fulfilling and productive day with the wolves. Update and photos by Eve.
The Arctics, food preparation
Torak, Mai and Motomo


12th July 2020

We arrived at the trust to blazing sun promising a hot day.

After sorting ourselves out, getting meat out of the freezer and putting the tortoises outside, we took Mai for a walk. Motomo started his customary howling as Mai strode off with purpose. We walked all round the field behind the enclosure and then down to the stream. Unusual for Mai, she hopped down into the stream for a short drink and then bounced up the bank, defying her 14 years! She was on top form, eyeing up her 'cubs', the Beenhams, on her way back up the field and then marching off back to Motomo.

After the Beenhams were enticed into their holding area, Fausta and I spent the next 2 hours in their enclosure, cleaning the water trough and chopping down nettles and tall grasses along the front of their enclosure. The others took Torak out for a walk and then got on with food prep for the wolves and tortoises, whose pen was also cleaned out. We gave the tortoises a bath and then they munched their way through a load of clover outside while I topped up all the other troughs.

After feeding, we went in with the Beenhams who as usual were an absolute delight to be around. Lots of head and neck rubs from all 3 again left me covered in long white guard hairs courtesy of Tundra. All 3 are now very sleek in their summer coats. Also, Torak looks like he’s been groomed and trimmed, so neat is his summer coat. Motomo and Nuka look very alike this summer and also very trim.

Before we left we gave all wolves a frozen 'meat lolly'. Although full of food and resting, they all soon perked up and watched fully alert as we came to them with the tell-tale containers. They all tucked in, although the Arctics tried to take ownership of just one. A lot of telling off that was all over in a few seconds as each of them went back to their own lolly.

All too soon it was time to leave. It had a been a very hot day but as always, so rewarding to spend time interacting and also observing al the wolves again.
Text and most photos by Eve, Torak walk photo by Deborah.
The Arctics
Torak and Mai


4th July 2020

Saturday was an overcast, breezy and rather humid summer's day. As usual, it started with the volunteers receiving a briefing of the plan for the day, which involved taking Torak out, tidying the Arctic wolves' enclosure and then going to see the Beenhams.

Torak was lurking near the kennels and he didn't need any encouragement to come onto the yard to be collared-up. We set out on a circuit of the top field and Torak, not having been there for months, took a good deal of interest in everything; he also managed to roll but fortunately for us it wasn't in anything too smelly! We popped him back in his enclosure and set about the next part of the day.

The Arctics have been moved into the holding area adjacent to Torak's enclosure and they watched with interest as we went into their (empty) enclosure. We jet washed and refilled the troughs, as well as clearing overgrown grass and vegetation from the "patio" in the enclosure. This takes the form of several large paving slabs, the idea being the Arctic wolves can wear down their claws by walking on it (one of the troughs being strategically placed so that they have to walk over the slabs to get to it). We've done this because the Arctic wolves' claws seem to grow faster than those of the other wolves - and we can't take them to a grooming parlour!

We had a break, then set about preparing the wolves' lunches. This was the typical mix of beef, chicken and paunch. The wolves were keen to eat and we made sure that the kites circling round didn't get any of it. They were watching while Motomo was being fed and the key for him is to throw food over the fence as the kites are circling away; they can't get back round in time to swoop on the food... at least, not with the way Motomo wolfs it down!

After tidying up, disinfecting everything, it was time to go in with the Beenhams. The wolves were all pleased to see us and Nuka (having eyed me up from outside) flopped on his back as soon as we entered, keen for a belly-rub. He got one, too, but soon became more animated as Tala and Tundra came to investigate! We then rendezvoused at the wooden platform and the wolves got a good scratch and general fussing, something both they and the volunteers enjoy.

We said our goodbyes and left the wolves to enjoy the evening.
Motomo and Mai
Torak and the Arctics