Now that we are deep into “the dog days of summer”, I thought it would be nice to take a look at some of the ways that the wolves at Wolf Haven get a little relief from the high temps. Our residents all have shelters where they can retreat, plus their enclosures have shady trees, shrubs or other vegetation in them. Of course they all get daily pails of fresh water to drink and big metal splash tubs in which to take a dip. Here is a family of Mexican gray wolves sharing a tub.
Our animal care team also provide weekly enrichment of various kinds to the wolves. Enrichment items may or may not be edible – their primary purpose is to introduce something unusual and novel for the wolves to investigate and explore with their intellect and senses. Even something as seemingly simple as a stick with essential oil on it can be used successfully as enrichment.
During the hot days that we are currently experiencing, it’s nice to combine the enrichment item with something that is cool and refreshing, as well as unique. Bloodsicles anyone? Male gray wolf Lonnie with his bloodsicle treat.
Or how about a tasty chicken footsicle, which combines smooth, slippery ice with crunchy, well, feet.
So the next time you feel like complaining about the heat, take a tip from our creative animal care team and the wolves!
Kim Young, Director of Communications
At 17, Diablo defied the odds- most wolves never live to see their 10th birthday let alone their 17th – so we knew that we were on borrowed time. We realized that eventually his age would catch up with him and the day would come when we would need to say goodbye. That day came on Sunday, June 25.
Until nearly the end, Diablo enjoyed good quality of life. He had some age-related challenges; he had become hard of hearing, his vision wasn’t as sharp and he had generalized stiffness and weakness. This was particularly pronounced in his back-end, especially if he laid in the same spot for a long time and then tried to get up. All things considered, though, he was as spry as a 17 year-old wolf could be.
Diablo was immediately identifiable because of the twin notches in his ears. He was born at a zoo in Detroit, where it is believed that the notches were caused by sibling squabbles. Diablo came to live at Wolf Haven in 2004 when he was three years old.
A Mexican gray wolf, Diablo was a participant in a federally managed Species Survival Plan program designed to preserve the survival and health of this critically endangered subspecies of the gray wolf. His longstanding companion was Gypsy, a female Mexican wolf. Because their enclosure was on the public visitor route, over the years hundreds of people were privileged to see the beauty and unique coloration of this rare breed. Beyond this, though, visitors could bear witness to a bonded pair that carried themselves with dignity and grace.
Diablo was a teacher to us in so many ways and he undoubtedly touched everyone who encountered him. We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to care for him all these years but there is definitely a void in the sanctuary, not only for his longtime companion Gypsy, but for all of us.
Rest in peace sweet Diablo.
Lovingly written by Wendy Spencer and Kim Young
One of the most beautiful things about life at the sanctuary is watching the transformation of our wolves as they settle into their new lives. Even more beautiful is watching a new “friendship” blossom and grow.
Breeding recommendations for critically endangered wolves: We have two pair of wolves recommended for breeding this year!
Exciting news in the Mexican wolf population! The Interagency Field Team (IFT) has confirmed that a pup who was cross-fostered in 2014 survived and later went on to reproduce.