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Spring Update on Nira-2000

Nira remains the king of the Wolf Timbers pack, although we are never quite sure how long he will hold on to his title. He appears to be in excellent health and looks relaxed and content in his home. As of 7-14-00 he weighed in at 110 pounds. He is up to date on all his vaccinations. Nira did have a rather large "hot spot" this spring, which we treated with a shot of Depo-Medrol. The hot spot cleared up in 3 days, a bit longer than normal but due to the amount of rain we have had (which kept the spot moist) we are nevertheless pleased. This year we applied fly cream to all three wolves' ears. This is the first year that we have had to do this. The flies bite the tips of the ears and after a while, the wolves' lose fur over the tips of the ears. It is actually quite comical to see the wolves after an application of the cream, for it is a brilliant pink in color, giving the wolves a punk look. Nira is still asserting his status upon the yearling male, Ingo. He is keeping the younger wolf in his place with growls; grumps and an occasional well placed nip. Although he rules the roost, Nira still enjoys a fast paced race through the enclosure with Keeley and Ingo. During these chases, Nira will allow Ingo to chase him but Nira will not accept or acknowledge any of Ingo`s many small scale "challenges" to Nira's alpha status. We must also mention that alpha wolves do not necessarily have to be dominant each and every minute of every day. Alpha wolves only assert themselves when necessary. Usually, this is in defense of territory or puppies, or guarding a mate. Nira will also ambush Ingo as he is chasing Keeley about the enclosure. Nira remains the most social of the three wolves. He will never tire of submitting for a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears. We wonder if his ease of social interactions with humans stems from his surgery as a pup. When Nira was born, he was urinating through his umbilicus. This required surgery and recovery time. One can imagine the attention he received during his recovery and makes us wonder if this is not the reason he seems to be more relaxed around people then the other two. He is an impressive looking wolf, and bears his alpha status well. His coat is a never changing range of colors. He switches from coal black in winter to an almost auburn hue during the molting stage. Nira is our first wolf to begin molting in the spring, well before Keeley or Ingo start. He also looks like a Musk Oxen, with remnants of fur hanging almost to the ground. Nira really looks good, solid, muscular and well balanced. Nira is a comedian at heart and seems to enjoy pulling his little pranks. One of his favorites is pushing over the planks within the enclosure. The volunteers use these planks to sit on while inside the enclosure. Most times, we find the planks turned upside down on the ground. Occasionally, Nira will even try to push the planks over while a volunteer is still sitting there! Nira is comfortable around the public and often will lay and snooze in a shady spot while the visitors look on. Nira is a wonderful member of the pack and we are glad he calls Wolf Timbers his home.




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