Volume 11, Issue 141, July 2016

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 11, Issue 141, July 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

It’s still rather icy on the Highveld, but if the budding trees and shrubs and the nest-building activities of the birds are anything to go by, it shouldn’t be too long before spring will arrive.

I feel like a cracked record, repeating every month that there is bad news for the wolves in the US, but unfortunately that’s exactly how it is. Our “Other News” and “Wolves and Wolfdogs” sections contain more canine-related bad news. Read the saddening stories for yourself and help if and where you can, please.

That wolves and humans are actually quite alike is demonstrated by another excerpt from Rick Lamplugh’s works, and it provides one possible explanation for the ever-lasting misconceptions the latter have of the former. They take out their frustration over their own inadequacies on the easiest target, because they simply don’t want to know about the actual root of the problem.

A loyal reader of our newsletters has come forward to share his personal wolf story with all of us, and we appreciate his taking the time to pen it. I am certain there are many more stories out there, and we would love to publish them here as well, anonymously if need be.

Erin provides a brief update on the chaos playing out in front of her door, and by now, my fingers are so solidly frozen that I simply have to end it here.

Enjoy this month’s newsletter,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

International Wolf Center

Behavioural Observation Team

Date: August 6-11, 2016
Location: International Wolf Center
Program Rates (with lodging):
Non-member $625, Member $562.50, Deposit: $50
Program Rates (without lodging):
Non-member $475, Member $427.50, Deposit: $50

Be part of the Behavioural Observation team that gathers detailed data on the 2016 pups. After the pups are introduced to the Exhibit Pack, we monitor the wolves 24-hours-a-day for the first five days. We will be recording all behavioural interactions between the pups and adults while they explore, interact and settle into life as a pack.

In order to collect 120 hours of data, we will split participants into one of three research teams of six people each, rotating on six hour shifts. Here’s your opportunity to observe the 2016 pups and contribute to the data that helps us interpret behaviour and employ the best management strategies possible when caring for our ambassador wolves.

http://www.wolf.org/programs/learning-adventures/behavioral-observation-team/

Wolf Family Rendezvous

Date: September 3-4, 2016
Time: Saturday 8:30 a.m. – Sunday 10 a.m.
Location: International Wolf Center
Program Rate: $75 Adults (13 years old and older), $50 Children (6-12 years old)
Registration Deadline: August 20, 2016

With plenty of family-focused activities and outdoor fun, your family will talk about this trip for years to come! Spend quality time together learning about the north woods and wolves! Hikes, crafts, games and observing our ambassador wolves. Set up your own Wolf Family Rendezvous!

http://www.wolf.org/programs/learning-adventures/wolf-family-rendezvous/

Wild Man Weekend

Date: September 10-11, 2016
Time: Friday 8 a.m. – Sunday 12 p.m.
Location: International Wolf Center
Program Rate: Non-member $200, Member $180
Registration Deadline: August 26, 2016

C’mon guys – get out of the office and spend a night out in wolf country! Join us for Wild Man Weekend! Your journey starts at the edge of the beautiful Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We will canoe secluded lakes, portage over to the next lake, and train you in radio telemetry to search for wild wolves! Overnight camping and cookout, s ‘mores and adult beverages included.

http://www.wolf.org/programs/learning-adventures/wild-man-weekend/

Wolves and Bears and Eagles, Oh My!

Date: September 23-25, 2016
Time: Friday 5 p.m. – Sunday 12 p.m.
Location: International Wolf Center, Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, North American Bear Center
Program Rates: Non-member $225, Member $200
Registration Deadline: September 9, 2016

Discover all that the north woods has to offer through the all-inclusive Wolves and Bears and Eagles, Oh My! program. Journey to Ely, Minnesota and spend the weekend learning about three very different kinds of wildlife.

We’ll take a trip out to the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, where we will have lessons from Frank Taylor in raptor banding, visit the North American Bear Center to see their live bears and exhibits, and of course, we will spend plenty of time at International Wolf Center! Meals and lodging are included, so join us for this multi-faceted adventure in northern Minnesota!

http://www.wolf.org/programs/learning-adventures/wolves-bears-eagles/

Recommendation

Do you like nice wolf pictures and photos? We do, could spend hours looking at them, and there is a Facebook page of the name “Beautiful wolf pictures and stories”, which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/page510/

There you will find the most beautiful pictures and photos of wolves you can imagine. Go there, like the page, and enjoy what can only be described as artwork.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Save a wolf today

It’s an all too common and heartbreaking scenario.

Wolves, or even entire packs, are killed when they prey on livestock or look for food too close to people.

As human populations expand and wolf habitat shrinks, some wolf-cattle interactions are inevitable.

But that doesn’t mean it has to end with dead wolves.

Defenders of Wildlife has pioneered numerous, effective non-lethal methods for keeping wolves and cattle apart.

You can help by donating in support of our proven wolf-saving techniques:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=KJGVY2ScEROw2I8jF5AtsA

Whether you’re helping to pay for range riders to minimize conflicts between Yellowstone wolves and livestock, or helping to purchase livestock guardian dogs to keep the Pioneer wolves of south-central Idaho out of trouble, your symbolic tax-deductible contribution will help support our efforts that save the lives of wolves.

  • $15 provides two hay bales as alternative food for livestock to keep them away from known wolf dens;
  • $45 buys 25 feet of turbofladry, a simple red flag system that discourages wolves from crossing into livestock pastures; and
  • $110 contributes to the seasonal salary of a range rider. Wolf packs steer clear of these modern day cowboys who keep cattle herds safe.

Tragically, the response to conflict is too often to kill wolves – an approach that can threaten the survival of entire packs and does nothing to keep other wolves from moving in and repeating the behaviour.

Wolves and people can, and must, coexist. Won’t you help today?
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=SYjMDuHHi1YV-o6mWpuD7A

Thanks so much for your commitment to the wildlife we all love.

From International Wolf Center (info@wolf.ccsend.com); on behalf of; International Wolf Center (info@wolf.org)

Wolf pup naming contest

As some of you know, a few weeks ago we received two new rare arctic wolf pups at the International Wolf Center. Now it’s time to give them their names, and we need your help!

First, go to our 24-hour live streaming pup cams and watch these guys in action. You will be entertained and learn a lot about wolf behaviour. Then go to the Wolf Pup Naming Contest page below and read about some of the behavioural firsts that have been observed by our wolf care staff.

Then set your imagination loose and come up with two names that reflect the personalities of these young canines.

From now until Friday, June 24 at 11:59 p.m. CST, you can enter your name suggestions below. (One suggestion per pup per email address)

Submit your entries now.

On June 25th, we will narrow the names down to three for each pup. Then be on the look out for our next email on when you can vote on your favourites! There will be one winner per wolf pup.

The winners of the Wolf Pup Naming Contest will receive an amazing prize package worth over $300 from the International Wolf Center, including a free one-year membership, two tickets to our upcoming Pup Bus Trip, and lots more! Good luck!

All the best,

From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates June 1-30, 2016

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico. Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolfor by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf. Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by signing up here. This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: the Alpine wolf office (928) 339-4329, Pinetop wolf office (928-532-2391) or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

On June 2, the public information specialists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Eastern Arizona Counties met with biologists from these agencies to discuss ways that the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program can improve outreach and communication to communities and interested parties in Arizona and New Mexico.

The Forest Service convened a meeting/conference call on June 16 with the Farm Services Agency (FSA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Arizona Game and Fish Department to seek clarification on the implementation of the FSA Livestock Indemnity Program, which provides funding to livestock producers for wolf depredations.

On June 29, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced the request for proposals for the 2016 Livestock Demonstration grants, which are grants to states and tribes that are competitive at a national level. In the Southwest, these grants have been awarded in the past to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Numbering System: Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history. Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory. In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

At the end of June 2016, the wild Mexican wolf population consisted of 47 wolves with functional radio collars in 19 packs and 5 single wolves.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338 and F1335)

In June the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east-central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). During this month, the Bear Wallow pack has re-localized and is once again showing denning behaviour, suggesting that the den may not have been lost.

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443, f1488, f1489)

In June, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF. Wolves F1443, f1488 and f1489 have been consistently located together near the Bluestem den. Two pups have been confirmed for Bluestem pack this year. M1382 continues to travel throughout Arizona and New Mexico.

Buckalou Pack (collared M1404 and F1405)

M1404 and F1405 continue to travel together between Arizona and New Mexico in both the Gila and Apache National Forests.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and AM1342)

In June, the IFT continued to document denning behaviour by this pack this month. The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the pack’s litter in April.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, M1383, and m1453)

In June, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333 and m1441)

In June, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north-central portion of the ASNF. The IFT continued to document denning behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month. The Hoodoo Pack has continued to utilize the food cache put in place for them to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330)

In June, the Marble Pack consisted of two collared wolves: AM1330 and m1440. AM1330 has travelled within the north-western portion of the ASNF during the month of June, has remained somewhat localized, and has been documented travelling alone. Wolf m1440 was found dead in New Mexico this month. The incident is under investigation.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and AF1291)

In June, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF. The Maverick Pack has localized and is showing signs of denning.

Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394)

In June, the Panther Creek Pack has been located in the east-central portion of the ASNF. This pack continues to show denning behaviour and to utilize the food cache that the IFT has maintained for them.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared M1249, F1437, m1447, and m1454)

In June, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR, the northwest portion of the ASNF, and non-public land in Arizona. Following a period of not being heard, F1437 was heard in the northwest portion of the ASNF. It is not yet known if this pack denned.

Tsay-o-Ah Pack (collared AM1343, AF1283, f1445)

In June, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR. f1445 travelled to the north-western portion of the ASNF.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, and f1444)

During June, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). During June, f1444 returned to its traditional territory.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

During June, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the Iron Creek Pack to mitigate potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

Luna Pack (collared AF1115, AM1158, and F1487)

During June, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT is maintaining a diversionary and supplemental food cache in efforts to reduce potential for further livestock depredations and assist other pack members feed pups following the removal of M1396.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)

During June, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north-western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, AF1251, AM1387, m1455, and f1456)

During June, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. In June, the IFT documented a minimum of four pups produced with the Prieto pack. A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the Prieto Pack to reduce potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

San Mateo Pack (collared M1345 and F1399)

During June, the IFT documented M1345 and F1399 travelling together within their territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. In June, AF1399 was captured and recollared, it was determined that AF1399 was lactating confirming reproduction. The IFT has continued to document denning behaviour by this pack. A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the San Mateo Pack to reduce potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

SBP Pack (AM1284 and AF1392)

In June the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The supplemental food cache was discontinued following abandonment of use by the SBP Pack. In June, the IFT began predation-study on the SBP pack to assess native ungulate kill-rates. Data collected during predation study suggests the survival of at least one pup.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

In June, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single M1398

During June, M1398 continued to make movements in Arizona and New Mexico.

Single M1293

During June, M1293 was located within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.

Single AM1155

During June, AM1155 was documented travelling in NM on the outskirts of his former territory.

Single M1347

During June, M1347 was located in Arizona and documented travelling with F1445 of the Tsay O Ah Pack.

Single M1354

M1354 has not been located for three months and is now considered Fate Unknown.

MORTALITIES

In June, m1440 of the Marble Pack was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

In June, Single M1161 was located dead in Arizona. The incident is under investigation.

In June, F1395 of the Hoodoo Pack was located dead in Arizona. The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During June, there were nine livestock depredation reports involving wolves and no nuisance reports.

On June 1, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron county New Mexico. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron county New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 9, Wildlife Services investigated two dead cows in Catron county New Mexico. The carcasses were old and the investigation could not determine if the cows were killed by wolves.

On June 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Catron county New Mexico. The investigation determined the bull was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County in Arizona. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow calf pair in Catron county New Mexico. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill and the cow was a probable wolf kill.

On June 23, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron county New Mexico. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill; it died from its injuries.

On June 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Yavapai County in Arizona. The investigation determined the cow was not killed by wolves.

On June 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron county New Mexico. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On June 8, WMAT presented to a group of WMAT Game and Fish Natural Resource Youth Interns in Whiteriver, AZ.

On June 15, WMAT presented to a Tribal natural resource/climate change youth program, from Cibecue, in Whiteriver, AZ.

On June 28, WMAT presented to a group of Tribal teens, as part of their summer science curriculum, at Alchesay High School, in Whiteriver, AZ.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In June, five Tribal youth interns joined the WMAT Mexican Wolf Tribal Youth Summer Conservation Program. Welcome, interns!

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

From the Center of Biological Diversity
(http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/wolf-06-20-2016.html)

June 20, 2016

USA: Reward of More Than $10,000 Offered Over Wolf Pups Killed in Northern Idaho

The Center for Biological Diversity is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for illegally killing wolf pups after removing them from their den in north Idaho’s Kootenai County, about 15 miles outside the city of Coeur d’Alene.

The pledge, along with an undisclosed reward offered by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, comes as Idaho officials are seeking leads in their criminal investigation of the poaching incident, which likely occurred the week of May 16, officials said.

“Pulling young wolf pups from their den and killing them is repulsive,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a staff attorney at the Center. “Coming on the heels of a protected grizzly bear being killed last month, it’s a stark reminder that Idaho’s still-recovering populations of big carnivores are at constant threat from poachers.”

Wolves are currently managed as big-game animals in Idaho, but there was no open hunting or trapping season for wolves at the time the pups were killed.

Fish and Game officers are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline, (800) 632-5999. Callers may remain anonymous.

“Sadly, these poaching incidents reflect what a growing body of research is making more and more clear — that allowing extensive hunting and trapping of wolves has not increased social tolerance for them, as the state predicted,” said Santarsiere. “Instead we’re seeing evidence that state-supported hunts of big carnivores actually devalue them among a certain segment of the population, and in fact likely trigger an increase in illegal killings.”

The federal monitoring program required by the Endangered Species Act after protections are removed expired last month. Poaching, along with continued state-sanctioned hunting and trapping, demonstrate why ongoing monitoring is crucial. In January the Center, along with four other conservation organizations, filed a petition (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/northern_Rocky_Mountains_gray_wolf/pdfs/NRWolfPetition_01-05-2016.pdf) asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend the monitoring period by an additional five years, and in March the organizations filed a notice of intent (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/northern_Rocky_Mountains_gray_wolf/pdfs/NR_Wolf_Monitoring_Extension_NOI_3-9-16.pdf) to sue the Service for failing to extend monitoring.

Idaho officials are continuing to seek information about last month’s grizzly bear poaching in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest near East Dry Creek, off the Yale-Kilgore Road in Island Park. Conservation officers concluded that the young grizzly bear had been dead a few weeks and did not die of natural causes. More than $15,000 in reward money is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction in that case.

In March the Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/grizzly_bear/pdfs/DelistingProposal_03-11-2016.pdf) to remove Endangered Species Act protections for Yellowstone’s famed grizzly bears, paving the way for state-supported trophy hunts that are already being planned in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places

Contact: Andrea Santarsiere, (303) 854-7748,
asantarsiere@biologicaldiversity.org

From White Wolf Pack
(
http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2014/02/reunion-between-14-years-old-boy-and.html)

Reunion between 14 years old boy and the wolves (Video)

The story is about a 14 years old boy who spends his summer holidays in his father´s gamekeeper’s lodge. One day he finds a box with two little puppies on their doorsteps.
He starts to take care of them and soon finds out that they´re not dogs, but two little orphaned wolf cubs. But that doesn´t change anything and we can watch their summer adventures in the lodge and surrounding forest.
When the summer comes to the end they must say goodbye. After a few months, in winter, the boy can finally visit them again and they give him this amazing welcome!

Vaclav Chaloupek is a Czech director, screenwriter and wildlife lover. He is best known for many TV-series featuring all kinds of animals, for example Vydrysek (story of a river otter trying to find its home), Medove (story of 3 little bears abandoned by their mother) and many more.
They are all made for a kids audience, to raise their interest in nature. I would say that they all have well-balanced proportion of cuteness and education.

From Wolfwatchers
(https://www.facebook.com/wolfwatcher.org/posts/1030767310293018:0)

Canada: Alpha female killed in Banff National Park after “aggressive” behaviour

This editor is in stunned, sad, angry shock about the killing of the beautiful alpha female in a national park. Why weren’t the campers asked to MOVE? Where are the alpha’s pups? Was she protecting them when humans traipsed into HER territory in HER home???

One wonders, who reported these “incidents”. We surely are familiar with fantastical stories about what wolves do in fairy tales. What is this? Eating loaves of bread for these carnivores … Just makes one….ponder.

So, Parks Canada has killed the Town pack’s alpha female, Kootenay.
So ONCE again….An Alpha female has been killed, basically to appease the humans that wanted to camp in HER territory…. This just NEVER stops and seemingly it won’t until ‘they’ have killed every last one of these beautiful creatures….

Use this link to read this tragic article: bit.ly/25QXAYY

From Save Wolves Now
(https://www.facebook.com/272970539569543/photos/pb.272970539569543.-2207520000.1465589238./521441711389090/?type=3)

USA: The Incredible Bond Between A Group Of Combat Vets And Wild Wolves

An upcoming documentary reveals how rescued wolves are helping veterans overcome PTSD.

The bond between a group of combat veterans and wild wolves, both suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, is the focus of an upcoming documentary called “The War In Between.”

The film is set at the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, or LARC, where wolves rescued from roadside attractions, breeders, and other exploitative situations, are paired with veterans suffering from mental trauma sustained in combat. The back-to-nature therapy retreat is located on 20 acres in the Los Padres National forest in Ventura County, California, and is home to about 40 rescued wolves.

Filmed over the course of a year and slated to premiere in September, filmmaker Riccardo Ferraris’ documentary highlights the relationship between wolf and warrior and how the experience of being welcomed into a pack, canine or otherwise, can be cathartic.

“What I see here with the veterans is the rekindling of the 13-year-old-boy before the trauma,” said Matt Simmons, the program’s founder, in a press release about the film. “It’s amazing to be accepted in a pack that usually accepts only its own offspring. It’s a miracle that only happens here at LARC.”

Check out the trailer for “The War In Between” by using this link: bit.ly/1U1shC6

From IndefinitelyWild
(https://www.facebook.com/indefinitelywild)

USA: Remembering OR4

You might not know OR4, but you most likely know his son. OR7 embarked on a 1,000-mile journey through western Oregon and northern California in 2007, receiving coverage in the international media because of the distance he had covered, and the new wolf territory he was setting paw on. OR7 was the first wolf in California in more than 100 years.

Without OR4 that journey wouldn’t have been possible, and there would not be more than 100 wolves living in Oregon today. He was the largest Grey Wolf ever measured in the state.

OR4 had been dispersed from his Idaho pack as a young wolf, and then observed in eastern Oregon on motion sensor cameras in 2008. There, he met B-300, a female wolf, and the two had their first litter in 2009, forming the Imnaha pack, the first in Oregon since the mid-20th century.

The journey the two wolves had to undertake until they eventually found each other was a difficult one. Both came from different packs in different parts of Idaho, and travelling separately, each had to climb the 9,000-foot Seven Devils Mountains, find a way across the Snake River and navigate through Hell’s Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America at nearly 8,000 feet from rim to water to find their way to Wallowa County in the north-eastern corner of Oregon.

In 2009 the first film footage of the Imnaha pack was captured, showing 10 pack members. For a previously extinct species, that’s a lot of growth in just a year, but not all were happy about the new presence of wolves in the state. Ranchers feared for the lives of their live stock, while environmentalists rejoiced at the return of a native species.

In 2010, OR4 was fitted with his first radio collar by wildlife biologists, another three times were to follow. A local wolf advocate came across OR4 one night in the woods and recorded his howls. In an effort to enable farmers to use the required non-lethal deterrence methods necessitated by endangered species law, the state constantly monitored OR4’s location for a year and issued text-message alerts about his location every day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. But after 800 man hours and 5,000 text messages the state gave up, because the program was just too man hour intensive.

OR4, a probably pregnant Limpy and 2 of their one year old offspring were travelling alone on the fringes of the pack’s territory beginning of April, when they were accused of killing a sheep and four calves. Arguing that now being too old to hunt elk, and trying to care for an injured partner, along with two pups, OR4 had killed the calves out of shear necessity.

Oregon was swift to respond, dispatching wildlife officers in a helicopter, who quickly homed-in on OR4’s tracking collar and gunned the four down from the air. The officials responsible reportedly stated they were, “not at all happy to have to have killed these wolves.”

But OR4 will not be remembered as a killer, but as the one wolf who brought back wild wolves to California, helping the species to re-establish a foothold in Oregon, and for his devotion and loyalty to his she-wolf O39, also known as Limpy. Since his arrival in Oregon in 2008 the wolf population there has grown to about 110 specimens, and he even had his hand in the returning of wolves to California. A daughter of OR4 and sister of his son OR7 founded the Shasta pack in California. His son, OR7 now leads the Rogue pack just north of the Oregon border.

This is a summarized version of the full article; use the above mentioned link to read the full story.

Other News

National

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

China: Care2 Community Demands Action on Yulin: Fight to Save 10,000 Dogs Continues

I’m both proud and sad as I type this message to the Care2 community. I’m sad, because the Yulin Dog Meat Festival proceeded as scheduled yesterday, and it’s highly likely that tens of thousands of dogs will be murdered for human consumption over the next week.

I’m proud because this year, Care2 members like you not only signed petitions but also took to the streets in Washington D.C., San Francisco and Toronto to rally and attempt to hand-deliver signatures to the Chinese Consulates. Our petition signatures were also included in attempted deliveries in London and Beijing at events coordinated by our partners Humane Society International. The London event even featured the actress and animal lover Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia)!

Our community turned out hundreds of Care2 members, and generated powerful media attention to the horrific festival. Our activists rallied in support of brave animal lovers in China, who are opposing the festival and the practice of eating dogs. Hundreds, if not thousands of dogs are being rescued from the festival right now by activists and organizations.

But as much as we have done, it’s still not enough. We must leverage more pressure on China to stop the tragic dog-meat festival from ever happening again.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) hosts the annual World Dog Show — which has been called the “world’s most important dog show” — in a different country each year. 2019’s show is scheduled for China.

It’s unthinkable that the same government that allows the dog-eating festival to occur each year would be rewarded with the World Dog Show. As long as Yulin’s festival continues, children’s pets are kidnapped to be sold and eaten, and are often even skinned and boiled alive. We must keep the pressure on China and use this prestigious dog show as the next step to create change.

Sign the petition: Don’t let China host the 2019 World Dog Show unless it stops Yulin’s dog-meat festivals!
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Av3cc/zRXE/rSHT

Thank you!

  1. Ban Trophy Hunting Photos From Facebook!

Trophy Hunters relish in showing off pictures of their conquests. They take pride in mounting the heads of endangered animals on their walls. They invite their kids to watch them slaughter hundreds of innocent animals like it’s a game, and then they post pictures of the abuse on Facebook to receive encouragement from friends. They are laughing, while their trophies suffer until their eventual extinction. And you can see it all on Facebook.

Trophy Hunting is a glory sport, in which hunters seek out selective game, often the largest or most mature member of an animal population. The animal, or animal parts, are then kept as trophies. Endangered animals make particularly enticing trophies. Banning Trophy Hunting photos from Facebook would take away a major avenue for hunters to gloat, which is what Trophy Hunting is all about.

Facebook amplifies the pleasure these people get from trophy hunts. But together we can get Facebook to take a stand: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Av6Ti/zRx9/GeQa

In 1997, Kenneth Behring paid the government of Kazakhstan to let him hunt the Kara Tau argali sheep, of which only 100 individuals were left! The trophy hunting of rare and endangered animals is a major factor in the near extinction of the African Elephant.

Trophy Hunters also engage in “Killing Contests.” One of the horrifying contests is the African Big Five, where hunters compete to kill Leopards, Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, and Buffalos. Another is the North American 29, which includes Bear, Bison, and Deer. Petition author, Supriya Arora explains, There are 29 awards in all, and in order to win all of them, at the highest level, a hunter would have to kill 322 animals of different species or subspecies.

Trophy Hunting leads to a chain reaction of environmental effects. Trophy Hunters seek to kill the biggest, and strongest of a species and that drastically depletes the gene pool of that species. Bear hunting leads to a higher mortality rate among bear cubs, and elephant hunting has been shown to make young elephants less capable of finding food and coping with predators. This is because elephants mourn family members, especially when they witness their murders.

Let’s take some glory away from Trophy Hunters. As the head of a major social media website, Mark Zuckerberg has an ethical responsibility to use his influence for good. Tell Mark Zuckerberg to ban Trophy Hunting photos from Facebook: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Av6Ti/zRx9/GeQa

  1. SAVE the remaining Bomb-Sniffing Dogs from the clutches of Eastern Securities!

A gruesome photo of 24+ slaughtered bomb-sniffing dogs was released last week. The German Shepherds were reportedly killed out of revenge when the company caring for them, Eastern Securities, lost a contract with an oil company.

Eastern Securities still has somewhere between 60-90 dogs and firsthand reports allege the dogs are mishandled, treated poorly, and in need of medical care.

Sign Amy’s petition to urge the US Embassy to step in and secure the release of the remaining dogs:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AVBSD/zR1p/GeQa

The 24+ dogs were found dumped in the desert by a concerned reporter; they were already badly bloated and decomposing. The dogs were reportedly killed with medicine not intended for dogs, causing their deaths to be drawn out and excruciating. Instead of the comfortable couch retirement they deserved, the bodies of these warriors were dumped like common trash in the desert.

Petition author Amy Swopes is a former employee of Eastern Securities and knew and loved many of the massacred dogs. She said “they would have made lovely pets. After years of faithful, life-saving service in the desert heat, these K9s were treated worse than broken equipment.”

Now Amy wants to convince the US Embassy to step in and assist with the release of the remaining K9s to the SPCA International. Mission K9 Rescue (a 501 c3) assisted in bringing 9 dogs back to the USA from this company previously. They have offered to assist the SPCAI in bringing the remaining dogs home once again. These K9s should be re-patriated in the USA, rehabilitated, and re-homed.

Will you sign Amy’s petition to demand the US Embassy saves the remaining dogs?
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AVBSD/zR1p/GeQa

Thank you,

Wolves and Wolfdogs

The Wolves of Denali National Park

A new den with at least two wolf pups has been discovered just outside Denali National Park and Preserve; these two pups could be the last vestiges of a once thriving and long-studied park pack, but the future of them is uncertain.

These young wolves and their mother could be the last surviving members of the famous Toklat or East Fork Pack that was studied since the early 1930s by biologist Adolph Murie. The Denali National Park is home to nine wolf packs and considered one of the best places in the world to see wolves in the wild.

Until the numbers of the East Fork wolf pack started to shrink over the last two years from former 14 pack members to perhaps now 3, they often ventured near the park road and could often be seen.

In early June the state pledged to rescue any pups born in the den and place them with a wildlife center or zoo if it became clear they would die without intervention, but now the black mother wolf and her pups are starving to death because state officials aren’t watching them closely enough before initiating a rescue. Anchorage biologist and wolf activist Rick Steiner says that it is likely the pups are already dead and the mother long gone, but he still hopes that he is wrong. But the only way to really know is to get to the den on ground, which he is pressing the state to do.

No state plans to monitor

The last radio-collared wolf in the East Fork pack was apparently killed last month by a hunter on grounds east of the park.

The grey male had been spotted together with the female during the winter and may have been her mate. This now sparks the question whether she will be able to raise the pups on her own. Park officials say there’s no indication that the female has died, and the pups were still alive as of June 7.

The regional wildlife supervisor, Darren Bruning, says that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has no plans to do any additional monitoring in the area.

The agency is working together with the National Park Service, relying solely on flights over the den twice a week to provide information. If Fish & Game has an aircraft nearby doing other research, they’ll fly over the den area, but such flights are not scheduled.

To monitor non-collard wolves in summer when the valleys are clear of snow is difficult, because there are no tracks to follow, and letting the researchers do their work on the ground near the den could disrupt the pups.

The state would only step in if there would be proof that the pups are orphaned and no other wolf is helping them.

The state’s 2010 orphaned game animal policy, which covers everything but wolf pups orphaned by predator control, dictates such decisions be made on a case-by-case basis. To intervene with wild babies, there would have to be certainty that there were no other pack members or adults present that could be taking care of these pups.

No sign of wolves

According to the park officials it is not known if the female is getting help from other wolves or somehow feeds herself and her pups on her own. Researchers had spotted tracks from three wolves in March, so there was the possibility that a third wolf had joined the collared male and the female, or that there was a new pack in the area.

The female was spotted in a den in late May, meaning she likely had given birth to pups.

On June 7th, the two pups were spotted by a pilot working for the Park Service, but the female wasn’t visible; maybe she was out hunting.

On Tuesday a private pilot flying over the area didn’t see any wolves but a surprising amount of human activity on all trails threading down to the Savage River valley.

On Wednesday the Park Service pilot overflew the area again on Wednesday, but saw no animals at the den. Another flight was planned for the end of the week, if the weather would allow it.

Mystery of grey male’s death

But there is another question mark in the story of the East Fork wolf family, because it is possible that the death of the gray male in May was an illegal kill.

The Park Service’s reports for last month indicated that the wolf was dead in a hunting camp just outside the park. But Fish & Game had not heard from any hunter or trapper who killed a wolf in that location in that time period, and the agency also had no direct information that the kill occurred in the first place. All they had was the report about the pilot’s observations. Other than that report they had no knowledge or record of a wolf being harvested or killed on those dates in that area.

Collar tracked to hunt camp

However, the Park Service believes that the evidence, that the last collard East Fork male has been killed on state land near Teklanika River, is very strong.

A pilot overflying the area for the Park Service reported that he had tracked the male by its collar in May to a spot about 218 yards from an occupied hunting camp, situated in open tussocks a few miles south of a bear baiting station used in 2015.

He reported several people standing, that he made a few circles and then left. He assumed the wolf was clearly visible from the camp. A few hours later he flew back and found that the signal from the wolf was right at the camp, but that he didn’t try to pinpoint it. There was one guy watching him with a camera or binoculars.

The collar of the wolf could not be recovered by Park Service. The state law states that anyone who traps a wolf in that area is required to bring its pelt in to be sealed, fitted with a permanent tag showing it was logged with a Fish and Game representative, latest by the end of May. Someone who takes a wolf with a hunting license is required to get it sealed within 30 days of killing it.

Diminished pack

The range of the East Fork pack runs along the park’s boundary and extends into lands open to legal hunting and trapping. In 2010 the Alaska Board of Game lifted a no-hunting buffer in that area and won’t consider calls to renew a hunting and trapping ban there until next year.

According to the Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation hunting and trapping kills an annual average of nearly 10 black or brown bears, 43 moose, and about four wolves in the area of Stampede Trail, the so-called Wolf Townships and Nenana Canyon. The drama playing out around this small East Fork wolf family is also part of a larger scenario of “abandoned wolf pups and family group disintegration” across the state due to the 1,200 wolves killed annually in Alaska by hunting, trapping and state wolf control programs.

The wolves of the Denali East Fork pack are real million-dollar rock stars that hundreds of thousands of paying visitors come to see every year, and that fact makes this story even more sad than what it already is.

How Wolves and Humans Are Alike

by Rick Lamplugh

While some people see wolves as vicious killers to be feared, hated, and eradicated, I see wolves as essential predators that we have much in common with. We have similar family structures, preferred habitats, diets, personalities, feelings, and codes of conduct.

Wolves once roamed almost all of the Northern Hemisphere. Wolves can live most everywhere we do: forests, prairies, tundra, mountains, deserts, and swamps. They can thrive even in areas crowded with humans such as Europe and Asia.

As humans did, wolves evolved in families, found strength in numbers. Members of any healthy family—human or wolf—assume specific roles. Like human parents, the alpha pair makes decisions and controls the pack. Other members contribute to the pack’s survival. In their families, wolves play, show affection, feed and discipline their young, and mourn their dead.

Wolves and humans both prey on large mammals living near them. In fact, we prefer the same meats. That shared love for the taste of sheep, cattle, deer, and elk leads to most wolf-human conflict. If necessary, though, wolves and humans can fast for a long time.

Wolves and humans can travel long distances in a day. We are both territorial. Wolves howl and scent mark to claim territory. We string barbed wire and draw lines on maps. Wolves and humans fight to keep or take territory. Wolves killing wolves—often in turf wars—is the most common natural cause of wolf death. In a similar way, humans annihilate each other.

Wolves communicate using their voices and their bodies. Their postures and facial displays express joy and sadness, aggression and fear, dominance and submission. In humans we call this non-verbal communication. Wolves have different personalities: some are loners; some are lovers; some are leaders.

Wolves, as well as coyotes, red foxes, and domestic dogs, experience emotions such as joy and grief. In his book, The Emotional Lives of Animals, evolutionary biologist Marc Bekoff writes that while animals may experience emotions that humans can’t understand, we can understand many of their feelings. Observing is the key. Bekoff has observed, for example, that wolves “have more varied facial expressions, and that they use these expressions to communicate their emotional states to others. Wolf tails are more expressive, and wolves use more tail positions than do dogs or coyotes to express their emotions.”

He describes how such body language revealed the grief a pack of wolves felt after losing a low-ranking female. The grieving animals lost their spirit and playfulness. They no longer howled as a group. Instead, they sang alone in a slow mournful cry. They held their heads and tails low and walked softly and slowly when they came upon the place where a mountain lion had killed their pack mate.

If wolves and coyotes experience many of the emotions that humans feel, can they also become mentally impaired? Bekoff asks this intriguing question and then concludes that since many psychological disorders have been diagnosed in dogs, “there’s no reason why this couldn’t be true for their wild relatives.”

Wolves and coyotes share another similarity with humans: both animals are moral creatures. Not long ago most scientists believed that animals lacked a moral compass. But times and attitudes change. When Bekoff and bioethicist Jessica Pierce wrote their book Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals seven years ago, they reported that the “staggering amount of information that we have about animal intelligence and animal emotions” now leads more scientists to say that animals can act with compassion, altruism, forgiveness, trust, and empathy. “In humans,” say the authors, “these behaviours form the core of what we call morality.”

I don’t always associate the words compassion and empathy with wolves and coyotes. Sometimes when I observe these two essential predators, I see a Darwinian dog-eat-dog world: an alpha puts an upstart in its place, two packs battle over territory, a coyote dies trying to share in a wolf pack’s feast.

But wolves and coyotes live in tight social groups—in families—each built on a network of relationships that depends on trust, reciprocity, and flexibility, just as human relationships do. Animals in such groups, say Bekoff and Pierce, live according to a code of conduct that prohibits some behaviors and encourages others.

One such code—fairness—is exemplified when coyotes play. “Highly aggressive coyote pups,” say the authors, “will bend over backwards to maintain the play mood with their fellows, and when they don’t do this they are ignored and ostracized.” Rules like this foster cooperation and coexistence.

The ability to get along, in fact, may determine the ultimate size of a wolf pack. For a long time scientists thought that available food regulated pack size. But Bekoff and Pierce point to research by wolf expert David Mech that shows pack size may be regulated by social factors and not just food. My interpretation of Mech’s findings: pack size is governed by the number of wolves in the pack that can bond versus the number of wolves viewed as competition. When those numbers are out of balance—not enough bonders, too many competitors—packs splinter.

Four years ago, philosopher Mark Rowlands wrote Can Animals Be Moral? He believes that many animals—including rats, chimpanzees, and dogs—feel emotions such as love, grief, outrage, and empathy. When acting on those emotions, animals choose to be good or bad. He presents examples suggesting that animals know right from wrong. Though humans possess a more developed moral consciousness, Rowlands says that animals can act for reasons that require an awareness of and concern for others. They can act morally.

Also four years ago, a group of prominent scientists signed the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness. The scientists declared that rapidly evolving scientific evidence shows that many animals are conscious and aware in the same way humans are. And that animals act with intention. Consciousness, awareness, and intention are keystones of morality.

If we believe that animals can be moral beings, can experience emotions such as joy and grief, and can become mentally impaired, then we must make sure that our actions match our beliefs. We must, as Bekoff writes, treat other beings with respect, appreciation, compassion, and love. “There’s no doubt whatsoever that, when it comes to what we can and cannot do to other animals, it’s their emotions that should inform our actions on their behalf, and we can always do more for them.”

Yes, we can always do more for wolves. And we should do less to them. We are far too similar to wolves to fear and hate and kill them.

Read more here:

Wild Justice: http://amzn.to/1WVb2nD

Can Animals Be Moral?: http://amzn.to/1LE5jPI

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness: http://bit.ly/1MY1PrB

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 128

The Eyes of Night

by Taren Werewolfmage

The eyes of night were cold and dull compared to his own. Ah, those vermillion optics, which flamed in the most stunning and magnificent ways. True, he was reaching towards the age of elders, but the youth within his nature was evident. A simple mottled grey, but could such a wraith like coat ever be described as simple? And yet even this mass of covering was shedding from his multiple years of life.

He did not mind though and still remained faithful to the pack. It was a prominent group, a litter of pups every other spring, large scrapes of territory, and various sized game dotting those rattle-grass knolls. His life was complete and he had received much joy from raising the spring litters that came so often.

He was not bound to a mate, for only alphas are allowed this great privilege, but he inferred that being a high official was not as enjoyable as his life now. Wolves mate for life, and they do so willingly, and even if they are torn by sickness or death they will never leave their loyalties to find another. And so if his alpha were to be over thrown his mate would happily give up their own position to join him as a rogue. He would not be dead since wolves do not kill when they fight and blood is hardly ever spilled. (Unfortunately rumors like these are popular among other species).

Yes, his life was simple and what some might call ‘boring’, but the mere joy of spending time with his family was all that mattered. And as the silvered moon rose to its zenith he felt the emotion returned by those around him. They were crying to the ivory celestial lights, and baying their ultimate love. Moments like these were all that he truly lived for.

Readers’ Contribution

CHEYENNE, A Canadian Timber Wolf Story

by Garry Seach

During November 2013 I was contacted by people who had previously sold me a female German Shepherd pup I had aptly named “Laika”. They asked me if I was interested in adopting a male Siberian Wolf at no charge. It did not take me long to come to a decision as to whether I wanted a “wolf” in my life, and decided to go and take a look at this Siberian Wolf. Now, I have always admired wolves from watching documentaries and always had a special place in my heart for these absolutely wonderful animals, who have been on this planet since long before us humans.

My concern at the time was about a wolf living in this province, KwaZulu-Natal, with its rather hot and humid summers. How on earth could it survive, and what measures did I have to take to ensure that the animal stayed cool. Perhaps I would have to go and purchase an air-conditioning system for all the rooms in my home. This would certainly cost me a fortune. In any event, I hopped into the car to went and have a look.

On arrival at the home where this “wolf” was kept, I found a very timid and frightened animal squatting behind a tree way back on the property, and I saw six Siberian Huskies on the property as well. My first thought was that Huskies and a wolf living on the same property was surely not a good idea. But then I was not a learned person in matters concerning wolves, this was my first encounter with a wolf up close, and I would still have to do a lot of research on wolves.

Eventually the owners managed to coax this animal down to where I was standing next to my car, and upon seeing him up close I thought to myself, well I may not know all the different wolf species in the world, especially as wolves do not roam this country, South Africa, but I can definitely say from watching documentaries that this was no “Siberian Wolf” at all. This poor animal eventually came close to me then literally urinated and defecated in front of me, perhaps out of sheer fright.

I was informed by the current owners that Lycan, as he was named, had been bred at Misty Creek near Paddock here in KwaZulu Natal and first gone to another owner, but he then could not handle the animal, and this is how they came about him.

I then turned my attention towards a pine crate that was standing nearby and enquired as to why he went to stand there. They said this was what they collected the animal in. Well, to say the least, and I mean the least, I was totally both shocked and appalled by this. This crate was no bigger than the width of this “wolf’s” body and just long enough for him to fit into it. I thought, how on earth could this animal be comfortable inside this crate.

I immediately made up my mind to rescue him. Then came the huge task of getting him into my car and take him home to join my German Shepherd and enter my life. Eventually I managed to transport him to my home over the short distance of approximately 8 km, and I was grateful for it being such a short distance, because this poor wolf had squeezed himself between the rear bench and the back rest of the two front seats of the car and was trembling terribly all the way. On arrival at home, the next task was to get him out of the car, but he would not budge. I then let my female German Shepherd come to the car where he was still squeezed in. She had a good sniff at him and eventually started to make sort of sympathetic noises towards him. That did the trick, and soon he was in the confines of my home. There was an almost instantaneous bond between the two canines, and they both romped off together for him to discover his new surroundings and of course, his new home. This was the start of both a great adventure and learning curve for me, being a layman when it came to wolves while literally having one living under my roof.

I then contacted his breeder and was told that he had been born on 18 August 2012, so he was just over a year old at the time he entered my life, and lo and behold, they told me he was actually a white Canadian Timber Wolf. I now had a name for my type of “wolf”.

Now Laika, my German Shepherd, and Lycan sounded so very similar in human speech that I changed his name to Cheyenne. It did not take him long to understand and respond to it …clever boy. Wolves are very intelligent, so I have heard, and so I now say as well. I just had to add this for whatever it is worth.

As I mentioned earlier, Laika and Cheyenne bonded almost immediately, but he did not with me, a mere human being, although he never showed any aggression towards me either. He would not come close to me, and when I extended my hand towards him, he would simply move away and run off. Straight away I realised that he had obviously been mistreated and did not trust humans anymore. I started endless hours of trying to earn his trust, while at the same time trying to establish some basic discipline. One was getting him to learn to eat out of bowl, which he would not go anywhere near, insisting to have his food scattered on the floor. This eventually worked out, and today he will eat from his bowl.

Now, Laika was not spayed and that concerned me a bit, but I decided to wait and see what would happen; perhaps she would reject him. One night whilst watching TV, I heard strange noises emanating from somewhere in my yard, and on inspecting the source, lo and behold, the mating season had begun there.

To cut a long story short here, she eventually gave birth to 13 of the most beautiful pups I had ever laid my eyes on …well, of course I would say that. Unfortunately one did not survive longer than a few hours, but the remaining 12 pups were fit. The space under my roof now really became crammed with Cheyenne, Laika and their 12 pups living there next to the human population. You can just imagine the mess in my home, but it was their home as much as mine, so who was I to complain?

Now there were 12 little wolf-dog hybrids running. When they were due for adoption at 8 weeks of age, I did the normal advertising and they literally went like hotcakes, and of course this proud breeder was extremely picky as to who would qualify to adopt one. This era in my life was over all too soon, and life returned to normal in my home. Oh yes, I got Laika spayed, no more pups madam, sorry guys.

Cheyenne’s schooling, as I like to call it, went on for many months to come, and to cut a long story short once again, he eventually started to trust me. Every now and again to this day, he will not appreciate it if I extend a hand to him, but more often than not he is fine with it. I suppose it is a wolf thing and depending on whether he wants a rub. I suppose he might think to himself, “Oh, not again. Why does this human always want to touch me?”

As Cheyenne put on some extra kilos (he had been clearly underweight and his ribs were showing), I decided he must have a larger yard to exercise in. I eventually found a lovely home for “all of us” with an acre of property to play in and that did the trick. His whole attitude changed for the better.

Today, as I sit and write all this down for you in June 2016, Cheyenne has turned out to be the most incredible, loving and intelligent animal in my life. I suppose I should not harp on that too much as Laika might become a wee bit jealous, albeit she wears the pants in my home and is the boss. Even Cheyenne listens to her when she is in a bad mood. He (Cheyenne) has become very obedient and responds when I call him by his name, albeit being a “wolf”, he decides at times if he wants to respond or not, and just gives me that wild look, “Oh, what does he want now?”

When I mentioned “intelligent” above, he does not miss a thing. Should something new come into the home, he will stare at it from a distance and take his time to come closer to it. Should I move it elsewhere in the home, he will go to where it used to be, come to an abrupt halt seeing it is no longer there, and then look around until he finds it. This goes for anything, even outside. Should there be a stone in a certain place and then it is taken away, he will notice that too. He is very aware of his surroundings, always looking up towards the ceiling or to the sky when outside. A very cautious animal I would say.

Now, some might say I spoil my animals, but well, why not? After all, they are part of my life. Both get their gourmet meals of Montego pellets mixed with their “cooked” chicken mince in the evening and it will be gone in seconds. Well, madam plays with her food most of times, but with him, it will really be gone in seconds. He is not fussy at all. Once a week, I treat him to a raw meaty beef shin bone, as I was told it would be good for him, and because I cannot leave Laika out, she gets one as well. Today, Cheyenne will even take food from my mouth, that is how trusting he has become of his new dad.

In closing, Cheyenne is a wonderful animal to watch, especially when he runs around. He literally appears to be running on air, with that typical wolf bounce. He sleeps next to my bed every night, sits near me when I am working (I work from home), lies next to me when I watch television, lets me rest my head on him, and always greets me each morning and when I go out and come back a few minutes later, with a soft howl, so all in all he has accepted this human in his life.

And lastly, but definitely not the least, he loves my shower floor to sleep on due to its being cool in summer, and of course my bed. His respect (I think) will always make him jump off when I get into bed at night, only to be back first thing in the morning to greet me when I get out of bed. I will then get a very quick lick, not one of the sloppy type some dogs like to bestow on you. We may have many prized possessions in our lives, but to own a “wolf” is the best and most rewarding privilege, I think, that one could enjoy, even if you live with a very cunning one.

Many thanks to Garry for sharing his story with all of us. If you also have a story to share, please send it to info@safow.org for publication in this section. If you don’t want your name to be mentioned, it’s not a problem, just say so.

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

There is not much to report other than the fact that the road works are still not completed, and it is getting more and more irritating by the day for us humans and even more so for the furry pack. All they do the whole day long is trying to hide from the noise and threatening big machines, only calming down in the evening when the workers go home. They will even refuse to eat anything before calm and normality is eventually restored. I hope that by the time the next issue is due this will have become history and I can report more exciting news.

Will be continued…