Toll Free



Fall Update on Nira-1999
Since Ingo`s (IO) arrival (8-8-99), Nira (NA) seems more reluctant to put himself into a "compromising" position. NA would solicit tummy rubs more often before IO arrival. NA seems more active, pacing about the enclosure, resting little - except when IO is resting. Although NA exhibited this "restless" behavior before IO`s arrival, we have noticed an increase. This increase may be related to the fact that NA is now exhibiting his stamina in an effort to hold his alpha status. A day after IO arrived, we noted that whenever IO whines, NA and KY would run to him to see what is happening. Also, when NA hears a sound coming from IO or the area where IO is, NA will immediately prick up his ears and may go trotting to check the noise out. NA also will come trotting over to us humans when we are interacting with IO - to see if all is OK. Whenever we have a new person or a peripheral volunteer comes out, NA becomes slightly excited and anxious. We also have documented that NA and KY are holding their tails out straighter and appear to be more alert than before. On August 12, Karen Davis (KD), Nira and Keeley`s puppy mother, made a visit. As always, both the adults seem "happy" to see her and NA seems to get a little excited by whining and sometimes clanking or snapping his teeth - usually an indication that NA is letting his excitement get the best of him. It is both heartwarming and a bit nervous for me to see how the adults respond to their puppymother. At times, wolves can become too excited and then the intensity level can pick up to where you need to defuse them. A week after IO arrival, we noticed that NA seems to be patrolling the area still and ready to defend IO from any enemies. NA continues to whimper and whine at IO. On the 19 of August, we first noted NA to be asserting dominance over IO. I have included a segment of my notes that gives an interesting account of how wolves in pack look for any opportunity to better themselves or to make a "point". In this case, KY was becoming quit bothered and upset, evidenced by her raised hackles, at IO. After taking so much, KY then decided to return some of the harassment she had been subjected to by IO. NA, at first looked on but after seeing KY chase after IO with intensity, then decided (we think), that he had an excellent opportunity to demonstrate his dominance over IO. 11/6/99…NA also wanted to get involved and it appeared that he was also tormenting KY. All of a sudden, KY began to growl and took off after IO. KY did not seem to care at that time about anything else except to get at the pesky mass of wolf fur and really teach him a lesson. At this point, NA sensing that this was "fun" also took part in the chase of the pre-teen wolf. I imagine that if IO were caught, he would face a strict reprimand. After about 7 minutes of the two adults chasing the "firecracker" (IO), they were able to corner him against the fence. Although we could not see what happened next, we surmise, by IO actions later, that he was thoroughly chastised and "put into place" by the alphas. After the high-speed chase was over, the adults freely took drinks of water while the accused stood about 10 feet back, watching. As the adults approached us, IO gingerly made his way to get a cool drink. After interacting with the adults, both NA and KY went to rest. It was then, and only then that IO decided that it might be safe for him to approach us. However, as the unsuspecting pre-teen made his way to us, we were chuckling under our breath because we knew something that he did not - NA was waiting in ambush for him. As IO approached closer, NA sprang out and put a final exclamation point on the chase. NA then went and found a cool, comfortable place to watch over his "territory". What is interesting from the above is that NA, sensing KY intensity directed at IO, decided to also become involved and actually became more intense and acted with more purpose than did KY. As of 11/13/99, NA weighs 110 pounds and appears to be healthy and fit. All vaccinations are up to date. NA still remains the alpha over IO. We really do not expect any changes to take place until IO becomes a bit older and surer of himself. However, KY is still submitting to NA and will side up with NA during little squabbles between NA and IO. This is crucial for an incumbent alpha - if he or she has the support of the pack, then generally they retain their status. However, if KY were to jump sides and assist IO in the squabbles, then NA would have to defend his rank against not one, but two wolves. So far, NA is doing little to allow IO an opportunity to "gain points". NA is a very expressive wolf, displaying his emotions very clearly. It is amusing to watch as IO would run up to NA, wanting to "play tag" with NA - to watch NA give a very slight agonistic pucker (baring of the canines - a way of saying "leave me alone or I shall whip you one"). IO then backs away and looks as if he were saying "scrooge" to NA. The breeding season is just around the corner and by observing NA, we can tell that he is becoming a bit more interested in KY. NA is also beginning to display more of his tricks against us humans, a combination of the breeding season and the cooler weather. NA now has three wolf sponsors and has met one of those sponsors on three different occasions and they seem to be building a good relationship. We really want our sponsors to have a good time, learn and generally become involved as much as possible with their sponsored wolf. This involvement has the potential to build even a better understanding of wolves and their ecology and behavior. We really do appreciate and respect our sponsors and will go to great lengths to make their sponsorship period satisfying.


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