Volume 9, Issue 118, August 2014

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 9, 118, August 2014

From the Editor’s Desk

What have we got for you this month? More shocking news on the continued gruesome wolficide in Idaho, of course. If you thought it couldn’t get worse, you don’t know the bloodthirsty Idahoans!

Although it “only” concerns one wolf and not more than a thousand, another shocking event recently played out in Germany. Trophy hunters are truly a perverse breed.

The story of ‘Old Man’, a single wolf in Idaho and one of those originally reintroduced there, makes for interesting reading, even though the story is a little dated by now.

Befitting all this, we have found a haunting poem, centring around the question of Why. Why? I ask indeed…

On a much lighter note are Erin’s tales of games.

Till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

From International Wolfcenter (info@wolf.org) Join Us for the 2nd Annual Wolf Trek Bus Trip to the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN

When? Saturday, 11 October to Sunday, 12 October 2014

See the Wolves!  Go Behind the Scenes! Leave the driving to us!
Cost: $ 249/first person; $ 199/each additional person in your party

Included in your registration:

  • Transportation to and from Ely in a luxury coach bus
  • Lodging at Fortune Bay Hotel and Casino
  • Behind the Scenes with Wolf Curator Lori Schmidt
  • Two full days of educational and recreational programs with International Wolf Center Staff
  • Meals, special gift, snacks, and more!

SEATING IS LIMITED. RESERVE YOUR SPOT ON THE WOLF TREK BUS TRIP TODAY!

The bus leaves the Center’s Administrative Office at 3410 Winnetka Ave. N., Minneapolis, 55427 on Saturday, October 11, 8:00 a.m. and returns to Minneapolis Sunday, October 12, 2014, late afternoon. Parking is limited so we encourage participants to carpool if possible.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing new to report.

International

From Defenders of Wildlife

(http://www.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Crisis in Idaho: How many Wolves have to die?

Fuelled by politics and hatred, Idaho is pushing ahead with its wolf-killing plan.

Just this month, Idaho’s Governor, a fanatical wolf-hater, appointed members to his wolf death panel. Its job: to spend hundreds of thousands dollars for the sole purpose of slaughtering a majority of the state’s wolves.

With your help, we will do all we can to stop the madness – please rush your emergency donation to Defenders’ wolf defense efforts today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=BzsW2bwYsL_b_3fcn9EcxQ

It’s called the “Wolf Control Board,” a committee made up of ranchers, hunters and political appointees. They will decide how to spend $400,000 a year on aerial gunning, trapping, and snaring as many wolves as possible. The general public, wildlife conservation community and even tribal representatives have no representation whatsoever.

Here’s what Governor Otter had to say in announcing members of the wolf death panel: “It’s up to us to address damage to our livestock herds and native wildlife while maintaining State control over this species that was foisted upon Idaho by the federal government.”

So far, 1,457 Idaho wolves have died since 2009.

Wolves are Counting on You

  • Defenders of Wildlife was instrumental in the historic re-introduction of wolves in Idaho nearly 20 years ago;
  • We’re the only national organization with staff in Idaho who helped reintroduce wolves and who continue to work for wolves at the state capitol, state wildlife agency, and with local communities;
  • With your invaluable help, we remain the most steadfast pro-wolf voice in the region.

There are signs that our efforts are making a difference in the state. Idahoans are speaking out – even the hunting community is starting to come out against this brutal plan. One Idaho journalist, a hunter and outdoorsman, had this to say about Idaho’s war on wolves: “I pay for a sportsman’s license. I enjoy the wilderness more than any other place on the planet. It’s my church, in a way. But my fees are now subsidizing Idaho’s gently-named Wolf Control Board. Instead of reasonable, respectable management, I’m helping fund a massacre.”

We must hold them accountable. Please help today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=brI7hHIv1dc_ESYrkCjMWA

  1. USA: Idaho: Wilderness Wolves in Crosshairs

Pop Quiz:
Federal designated wilderness areas are:

a. Unspoiled wild places for the benefit of all citizens where nature is supposed to be left “untrammelled” by humans

b. Elk farms for the sole benefit of commercial outfitting and hunting

With the enthusiastic support of the Governor, Idaho Fish and Game had been working toward answer “b” under a plan to dramatically reduce, by 60 percent, the wolf population in central Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness – the largest forested wilderness area in the Lower 48.

Earlier this year, Defenders joined with other wildlife groups in a lawsuit to block the wilderness killings, which began in secrecy. This week, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game committed to kill no more wolves in this wilderness area prior to November 1, 2015 – well more than a year from now – and to go public with any proposed wolf killing plans after that date.

This “truce” gives us time to seek a permanent solution. But once the “truce” has passed, there is every reason to believe the state will resume its deadly ways.

Please support Defenders’ efforts to stop the senseless killing in Idaho and protect imperilled wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=qvpiMP2sJmWmzijR5_xtKg

The one-year stay of execution applies only to wolves within the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Elsewhere in Idaho, the state is forging ahead with the largest wholesale wolf-killing program since wolves were driven to the brink of extinction in the Lower 48 during the 1900’s.

As a Defenders supporter, you are part of the only national organization with staff in Idaho who helped reintroduce wolves to Idaho back in 1995 and who continue to work for wolves at the state capitol, state wildlife agency, and with local communities.

Our outreach efforts, including an ongoing advertising and media blitz, is reaching Idaho’s citizens, in whose name the slaughter is happening.

Idaho’s persecutionof wolves is deplorable. With your help, we can bring the killing under control:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=hNbFYnA4Zoi6k05S4LfZ1A

Thank you for your commitment and passion.

For the wolves

  1. USA: Idaho: Emergency: Help stop the Wolf and predator killing spree

A “hunters’ rights” organization has formally requested a federal permit to hold a multi-year predator-killing derby in Idaho — on national public lands!

If approved, this will be the second competitive wolf-killing competition held in Idaho – and no predator will be safe!

If you care about wolves and other predators as much as I do, please help by telling the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at the Department of the Interior to deny the request to conduct this organized killing spree:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=58mWMJV53gzd8ez055EBkA

As if the competitive targeting of wolves was not bad enough, this proposed derby would sweep all predators in Idaho into its gun sights, rewarding the killing of coyotes, skunks and even weasels.

Last year’s wolf and coyote-killing derby included prizes for killing the most coyotes and killing the largest wolf. This is not hunting; this is simply mass-killing for fun based upon hatred and fear.

Defenders is adamantly opposed to this sort of competitive killing derby and the dangerous and unethical precedent that it sets. Please stand with us and call on the BLM to immediately deny this outrageous request:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=jddgB4DgXITOHs8OHLcSVQ

If you think it can’t get worse, consider this: The proposed event would take place every winter for five years when wolves and other wildlife are most vulnerable out foraging for food in the snow and extreme cold.

This proposal sets us back to the barbaric 19th century approach to predators when their value to the environment was not understood. These are exactly the kinds of extermination era tactics that drove wolves to the brink in the first place! This is not modern wildlife management, and it has no place in civil society.

Please demand that the BLM stop this unconscionable killing contest in its tracks:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=FG4mtEtXnB3UvmRuJ3HoEQ

Thank you for taking immediate action.

From Helmut Rentsch

(www.tigerfreund.de; original source; here summarized and translated from German)

Germany: Brandenburg: Wolf shot dead and beheaded

On 7 August 2014, a wolf was found shot dead and beheaded next to the B168 south of Lieberose, on the grounds of the Natural Landscape Foundation of Brandenburg. The prosecutor’s office in Cottbus has started an investigation.

The dead wolf had been discovered next to the road by a passer-by on his bicycle, who alarmed the senior forestry office. Employees of this office and the provincial office of environmental affairs recovered the body and handed it over to the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin for examination.

The result showed that the wolf had died of a shot wound, and that the head had been cut off post-mortem. The male wolf was presumably 2 to 3 years old; its exact origin is still unclear.

The grounds where the corpse had been found is part of a nature reserve and belongs to the Natural Landscape Foundation of Brandenburg, where wolves have started to live again since 2009. The foundation has laid charges against anonymous culprit(s).

Wolves are nationally and internationally strictly protected, and to injure or kill a wolf is a violation of the species protection act and therefore a crime, said Andreas Piela, board member of the Natural Landscape Foundation of Brandenburg. The Foundation, NABU Brandenburg, WWF Germany, the Zoological Association Frankfurt, and the Provincial Hunting Association of Brandenburg have all condemned the act, and demand consequential criminal prosecution.

From California Wolfcenter

(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

June 1-30, 2014

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in Arizona on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNF) and Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR) and in New Mexico on the Apache National Forest (ANF) and Gila National Forest (GNF). Non-tribal lands involved in this Project are collectively known as the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA). 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 http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://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 visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/signup . This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Reintroduction 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 weekly wolf telemetry flight location information or the 3-month wolf distribution map, please visit http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf . On the home page, go to the “Wolf Location Information” heading on the right side of the page near the top and scroll to the specific location information you seek.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 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.

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 2014, the collared population consisted of 49 wolves with functional radio collars. M1282 and F1295 were translocated to McKenna Park in the Gila Wilderness on June 18. They will now be referred to as the Lava Pack. There are currently 18 packs and 4 single wolves in the BRWRA.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, mp1330, mp1331, fp1332, fp1333, fp1339, and fp1340)

During June, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF. The Bluestem Pack continues to exhibit denning behaviour during the month of June. On June 18 Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near Kettle Holes in Arizona. The investigation determined that the calf was killed by a wolf. The depredation was assigned to f1332. The wolf f1332 has been located separate from the rest of the Bluestem Pack during the month of June.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AM1287 and F1294)

In June, the Elk Horn Pack exhibited denning behaviour within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF in Arizona. The IFT documented AM1287 with F1294 with the use of a trail camera this month. The collar on AM1287 is not functional.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AF1280)

During June, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The Hawks Nest Pack continues to exhibit denning behaviour. The collar on AM1038 has stopped working, but the IFT has documented AM1038 is still with f1280 with the use of a trail camera.

Hoodoo Pack (collared M1290)

In June, M1290 travelled between the northern portion of the FAIR and the north portion of the ASNF. The IFT again documented an uncollared wolf with M1290 during this month.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183, AF1291, f1335, mp1336, and m1342)

During June, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and the central portion of the ASNF. The Maverick Pack continues to display denning behaviour.

Rim Pack (collared AM1107 and F1305)

In June, the Rim Pack was located in the south-central portion of the ASNF. The pack is still exhibiting denning behaviour.

ON THE FAIR:

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared M1343 and AF1283)

Throughout June, the Tsay o Ah Pack was located on the FAIR. The IFT continues to document denning behaviour in this Pack.

M1249 (collared)

The wolf M1249 was located on the FAIR throughout the month of June.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Canyon Creek Pack (collared M1252 and F1246)

During June, the IFT located these wolves within their traditional territory in the central portion of the GNF. The IFT has documented denning behaviour in this pack during this month.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923 and M1293)

Throughout June, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF. The Dark Canyon Pack continued to display denning behaviour during the month of June. In May 2 pups from the Coronado Pack were cross-fostered into the dark Canyon Pack. A food cache was established to help the Dark Canyon Pack care for the extra puppies. The IFT documented the three collared members of the Dark Canyon Pack utilizing the food cache during the month of June. Although the Dark Canyon Pack continues to display denning behaviour the IFT has yet to document the presence of pups since the cross-fostering was implemented.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared AM1158, AF1212, M1276 and m1345)

During June, the IFT documented these wolves within the northwest portion of the GNF. M1276 has not been located during the month of June and is now considered fate unknown. The Fox Mountain Pack continues to display denning behaviour. A food cache was established by the IFT to deter the pack from depredating on livestock and no depredations have resulted since the food cache has been established. On June 23, 4 pups from the Fox Mountain Pack were documented on a trail camera visiting the food cache.

Lava Pack (collared M1282 and F1295)

On June 18, the Lava Pack was translocated and released at Gila Flats in New Mexico. The pair has since split up after their release. The wolf F1295 has remained in the Gila Wilderness and M1282 has not been located since shortly after the release.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and m1337)

In June, the IFT located the alpha pair within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The Luna Pack continues to display denning behaviour. On June 2, during the weekly telemetry flight IFT personnel observed m1337 chasing livestock however a search of the area later revealed no dead livestock.

Prieto Pack (collared F1251)

In June, the IFT located this wolf within its traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT documented denning behaviour in this pack during this month. A food cache has been established to prevent livestock depredations by the Prieto Pack. Both adult wolves associated with the Prieto pack have been documented using this food cache in June.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296)

In June, the Mangas Pack utilized the area in the North-eastern Portion of the GNF. The IFT has documented denning behaviour in this pack during June. During June f1327 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation. A supplemental food cache was started to help M1296 feed any pups associated with the Mangas Pack.

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1157 and AF903)

In June, the IFT located AM1157 and AF903 in the pack’s traditional territory in the northern portion of the GNF. Although denning behaviour has been documented, the IFT has yet to observe pups with the pack.

Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185, AF1279, and mp1338)

In June, the Willow Springs Pack used their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. On June 14 the IFT documented three collared wolves and two uncollared wolves using the Willow Springs food cache. The Willow Springs Pack continues to display denning behaviour.

Iron Creek Pack (collared M1240 and F1278)

In June, the Iron Creek Pack continued to display denning behaviour. This pack has localized in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest. The pack has been documented using this area of the GNF as their territory.

M1254 (collared)

In June, the IFT located M1254 for the first time in over a year. The wolf was located in the in the north western part of the GNF. The Wolf has travelled between the north western portion of the GNF and the western portion of the GNF since he was rediscovered.

M1284 (collared)

In June, M1284 made wide dispersal movements in the GNF of New Mexico.

M1285 (collared)

In June, M1285 made wide dispersal movements in the GNF of New Mexico and the Gila Wilderness area.

M1286 (collared)

In June, M1286 continued to make wide dispersal movements in the GNF.

MORTALITIES

In June, F1327 was found dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During June there were three livestock depredation reports and one nuisance report in the BRWRA.

On June 2, members of the IFT observed M1337 of the Luna Pack chasing livestock in New Mexico. There were no dead livestock found in the area.

On June 4, Wildlife Services investigated one dead cow and one dead calf near Canyon Del Buey, New Mexico. The cow-calf pair died of unknown cause not related to wolves.

On June 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near Kettle Holes in Arizona. The investigation determined the calf was killed by a wolf and the depredation was assigned to f1332 of the Bluestem Pack.

On June 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near White Mountain Reservoir in Arizona. The calf was determined to have been killed by coyotes.

CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

On June 15, Coronado pups, fp1348, mp1349, mp1350, and mp1351 were captured at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility and received veterinary health checks. The pups were determined to be healthy and thriving.

On June 16, F1226, F1222, and M1274 were captured at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility and received veterinary health checks.

On June 18, Lava M1282 and F1295 were captured at the Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility and transported to Gila Flats NM for translocation to the wild. Wolf program staff also captured and transported F858 from the Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Centre.

On June 30, Coronado pups, fp1348, mp1349, mp1350, and mp1351 were captured at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility and received veterinary health checks. The pups were determined to be healthy and thriving. F1202 was captured and moved to a different pen at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On June 21, the IFT gave a presentation at the Phoenix Zoo to 36 teachers from across Arizona. The presentation was part of a program that showed the different perspectives of managing endangered species in Arizona.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In June, Brent Wolf and Ed Davis started working with the AGFD on the Mexican Wolf Project. Welcome to the project Brent and Ed!

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.

Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

July 1-31, 2014

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in Arizona on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNF) and Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR) and in New Mexico on the Apache National Forest (ANF) and Gila National Forest (GNF). Non-tribal lands involved in this Project are collectively known as the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA). 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 http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://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 visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/signup. This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Reintroduction 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 weekly wolf telemetry flight location information or the 3-month wolf distribution map, please visit http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf. On the home page, go to the “Wolf Location Information” heading on the right side of the page near the top and scroll to the specific location information you seek.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 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.

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 July 2014, the collared population consisted of 55 wolves with functional radio collars. On July 22, 2014 the IFT translocated the Coronado Pack, consisting of two adults and four pups of the year, into the Gila Wilderness near McKenna Park. On July 24, the Pack “self-released” from a mesh pen and are now roaming the Gila Wilderness. There are currently 19 packs and 4 single wolves in the BRWRA.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, m1330, m1331, f1332, f1333, f339, and f1340)

During July, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF. The Bluestem Pack continues to exhibit denning behaviour during the month of July. On July 20, Wildlife Services investigated two injured horses near the 26 Road in Arizona. The investigation determined that the horses were attacked and injured by wolves. GPS locations from AF1042’s collar indicated that Bluestem was in the area where the two horses were injured the night of the attack. Wolf f1332 has been located separate from the rest of the Bluestem Pack during the month of July.   Elk Horn Pack (collared AM1287 and F1294)In July, the Elk Horn Pack exhibited denning behaviour within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF in Arizona. The IFT documented AM1287 with F1294 with the use of a trail camera this month. One pup has been documented with the Elk Horn Pack.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038 and AF1280)

During July, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The Hawks Nest Pack continues to exhibit denning behaviour. The collar on AM1038 has started working again and the IFT has documented the wolf near the suspected den site during July. At the end of July the IFT documented 1-2 pups howling with the adults in the Hawks Nest Pack.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183, AF1291, f1335, m1336, and m1342)

During July, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and the central portion of the ASNF. The Maverick Pack continues to display denning behaviour.

Rim Pack (collared AM1107 and AF1305)

In July, the Rim Pack was located in the south-central portion of the ASNF. The Rim Pack has moved periodically from one location to another during July, and maybe using rendezvous sites. The IFT has documented one pup with the Rim Pack.

ON THE FAIR:

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

Throughout July, the Tsay o Ah Pack was located on the FAIR. The IFT continues to document denning behaviour in this Pack.

Hoodoo Pack (collared M1290)

M1290 was located on the FAIR throughout the month of July

M1249 (collared)

M1249 was located on the FAIR throughout the month of July.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Canyon Creek Pack (collared AM1252 and AF1246)

During July, the IFT located these wolves within their traditional territory in the central portion of the GNF. The IFT has documented denning behaviour in this pack during this month.

Coronado Pack (collared AM1051, AF1126, fp1348, mp1349, mp1350, and mp1351)

On July 22, the Coronado Pack was transported to the Gila Wilderness where they were placed in a mesh pen near McKenna Park. On July 24, the Coronado Pack chewed their way out of the mesh pen and this pack has remained localized in the area of the release site. A food cache has been set up to localize the pack in the release area as well as assist help the wolves with successfully becoming established in the wild.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923 and M1293)

Throughout July, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF. The Dark Canyon Pack continued to display denning behaviour during the month of July. In May two pups from the Coronado Pack were cross-fostered into the Dark Canyon Pack. Three existing pups were documented in the den at that time. A food cache was established to help the Dark Canyon Pack care for the extra pups. In July the IFT documented that five pups were utilizing the food cache indicating that the cross-fostering operation was successful.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared AM1158, AF1212 and m1345)

During July, the IFT documented these wolves within the northwest portion of the GNF. The Fox Mountain Pack continues to display denning behaviour. A food cache was established by the IFT to deter the pack from depredating on livestock and no depredations have resulted since the food cache has been established. The IFT has obtained pictures of four pups utilizing the food cache.

Lava Pack (collared M1282 and F1295)

Since the Lava Pack was translocated and released at Gila Flats in New Mexico, the pair has remained separated. Wolf F1295 has remained in the Gila Wilderness and M1282 travelled north and was first located near the Mal Pais in New Mexico. M1282 then moved south and has been located with the San Mateo Pack (M1282’s natal pack) during July.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and m1337)

In July, the IFT located the alpha pair within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The Luna Pack continues to display denning behaviour.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251)

In July, the IFT located this wolf within its traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT documented denning behaviour this year with this pack. A food cache has been established to prevent livestock depredations by the Prieto Pack. Both adult wolves associated with the Prieto pack have been documented using this food cache. On July 20, Wildlife Services investigated a report of two injured horses near Rainy Mesa in New Mexico. It was determined that the injuries to the horses were caused by wolves. The IFT determined the Prieto Pack was responsible for the injuries.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296)

In July, the Mangas Pack utilized the area in the north-eastern portion of the GNF. The IFT has documented denning behaviour in this pack. A supplemental food cache was started to help AM1296 feed any pups associated with the Mangas Pack. During July the IFT documented AM1296 utilizing the food cache. The IFT has not documented any pups associated with AM1296.

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1157 and AF903)

In July, the IFT located AM1157 and AF903 in the pack’s traditional territory in the northern portion of the GNF. After the release of the Lava Pack M1282 travelled north to the Mal Pais in New Mexico and then moved south and has been located with the San Mateo Pack during July. The San Mateo Pack has moved this month to a suspected rendezvous site. On July 1, members of the IFT searched the area where San Mateo has denned and found adult wolf tracks as well as puppy tracks. The San Mateo Pack continues to demonstrate denning behaviour in their new location.

Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185, AF1279, and m1338)

In July, the Willow Springs Pack used their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. On July 29 the IFT received a report from a member of the public that there were four pups observed in the vicinity of where the Willow Springs Pack has localized this year for denning season. The Willow Springs Pack continues to display denning behaviour.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

In July, the Iron Creek Pack utilized their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest. The pack has displayed denning this year behaviour and continues to be localized near a den or rendezvous site.

M1254 (collared)

In July, M1254 moved through the eastern portion in the GNF of New Mexico including the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

M1284 (collared)

In July, M1284 made wide dispersal movements in the GNF of New Mexico.

M1285 (collared)  

In July, M1285 made wide dispersal movements in the GNF of New Mexico including the Gila Wilderness area.

M1286 (collared)

In July, M1286 made wide dispersal movements in the GNF.

MORTALITIES

No wolf mortalities were documented in July.

INCIDENTS

During July there was one livestock depredation report and two nuisance reports in the BRWRA.

On July 2, Wildlife Services investigated one dead calf near OD Ridge, in Arizona. The investigation concluded that the calf was a probable wolf kill.

On July 20, Wildlife Services investigated two injured horses near the 26 Road in Arizona. The investigation determined that the horses were attacked and injured by wolves. GPS locations from AF1042’s collar indicated that Bluestem was in the area where the two horses were injured the night of the attack.

On July 20, Wildlife Services investigated two injured horses near Rainy Mesa in New Mexico. The investigation determined the horses were injured by wolves and the IFT determined that the wolves responsible for the injuries were members of the Prieto Pack.   CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

On July 21, the Coronado Pack, consisting of AM1051, AF1126 and fp1348, mp1349, mp1350, and mp1351 were captured at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility and prepared for release to the Gila Wilderness. On July 22, the Coronado pack was transported to the Gila Wilderness on mules.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On July 15 and 16, the IFT completed wildlife capture training at the Alpine Community Center.

On July 26, the IFT presented information to journalists from Arizona Highways magazine during a hike to the top of Mount Baldy in Arizona. The hike was part of the magazines article on the 50th anniversary of the wilderness act.    

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In July, Julia Smith started working as a technician for AGFD on the Mexican Wolf Project. Welcome to the project Julia!

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.

Other News

National

Nothing new to report

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolf B2 changed Idaho

The name the biologists gave him was Wolf B2, the Nez Perce named him Chat Chaaht, and to his admirers he was known as “The Old Man”.

He was the second wolf released in Idaho in 1995 and, at with an age of 14 years one of the oldest wolves ever recorded in the wild. A couple of weeks ago, B2 was found dead. He was preceded in death by his first mate, B66, killed in 2002 by an elk.

He is survived by a mate and four to eleven offspring.

His death and most of his life was scientifically documented, which gave biologists and citizens the rare opportunity to understand a central character in the controversial program of returning wolves to the Rocky Mountains.

B2 began his life as a Canadian wolf, destined to be killed to line the hood of a winter coat. But the trapper who snared him near Jasper National Park in Alberta instead sold him alive to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for $ 2,000. He was loaded onto a plane with 11 other wolves and sent to the United States for relocation in Idaho and Yellowstone National Park as part of a federal program to replace wolves who were exterminated earlier in the century.

From that very moment on B2 left his mark on Idaho; he helped Idaho´s Nez Perce Tribe reconnect with its spiritual past, ate a cow owned by the president of the Idaho Cattle Association, and became an inspiration to the wolf supporters around the world. B2 and the other wolves helped ignite a debate over changing Western values. You may find meaning in B2´s mournful search for his dead mate, you may find hope in his remarkable survival, you may see in his story one more example of an arrogant federal government forcing its will on Westerners, or you may wish he and the 34 other Canadian wolves who augmented Idaho´s struggling native wolf population would have gone back to where they came from. Today the Idaho wolf population is officially estimated at 375. B2 died next to a young bull elk, his final kill.

Idaho´s most famous wolf was born in Alberta, Canada, in 1990 or 1991. His pack lived off the elk, deer and moose in the thickly timbered hills of the Hay River Valley, 30 miles east of Jasper National Park. It was in December 1994 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife authorities contacted the outfitter-trapper George Kelly of Hinton and offered to pay $ 2,000 for every wolf caught and radio-collared. Kelly and another trapper snared three members of the Hay Pack, which were tranquilized for the transport to the U.S. by American biologists. B2 was a medium-sized grey male of a weight of 35 kg. After the U.S. wildlife officials had flew him to Hinton, he was examined, measured and prepared for shipping by veterinarians. He then was crammed together with 11 other wolves into small packing crates and onto a plane.

January 11th 1995 was the beginning of what would later be called one of the greatest environmental success stories of the 20th century.

Events in the U.S. would make the trip one of the most harrowing of his life. While B2´s plane was airborne, a federal appeals court in Denver issued an emergency order halting the reintroduction. The legal challenge came from the American Farm Bureau, representing Western ranchers, who had successfully delayed reintroduction for more than 10 years until Bill Clinton was elected president, which changed the political leadership of the federal agencies in charge of wolves. The federal courts were the opponents´ last hope. The wolves´ fate was still in doubt when the plane landed in Great Falls, Mont, but the court lifted its order the next day. Eight wolves were moved to Yellowstone and placed in large kennels, but the court´s decision came too late to move the four wolves bound for Idaho. They had to spent the night cooped up in their crates in Montana, and could only be flown to Missoula the next day, where a delegation from the Nez Perce Tribe met them. Horace Axtell, the tribal elder, personally welcomed B2 back as a brother. He is also the leader of Seven Drum, the Nez Perce religion that sees wolves and people tied together in the circle of life. That spiritual connection was broken when wolves were exterminated from that region.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game had chosen airstrips in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness for the releases. But overcast skies on January 14th   made the mountains too dangerous for helicopters. Ed Bangs, coordinator of wolf recovery in the Rocky Mountains, decided to truck the wolves to the Corn Creek boat launch at the end of the icy Salmon River Road. A caravan of reporters, wolf advocates and residents accompanied the wolves on the bumpy, four-hour drive. Bangs still recoils at the trauma for the humans and the animals; the road was solid glazed ice, the river was raging, the canyon was steep and high, but despite his 74-hour ordeal, B2 bolted out of his cage and loped west into the wilderness.

Brett Barsalou, the Lemhi County Sheriff, opposed the reintroduction. He thought the wolves would bring trouble for themselves and the residents of a county where sentiment ran heavily against reintroduction. He feared that within days, another wolf would be killed on a Lemhi County ranch while eating a dead calf. Barsalou stood between residents who saw federal wildlife agents as “jack-booted thugs” and federal authorities who wanted answers about the illegal killing of an endangered species. Within months, an unrelated court decision threatened to stop logging, mining and grazing, as well as wolf reintroduction on federal lands. Violence nearly broke out among the residents of Lemhi County, but the cool-yet-defiant leadership of Barsalou and other local officials helped quiet the situation and lay the groundwork for a decade of tense but peaceful debate over wolves in Idaho.

B2´s first two years in Idaho were peaceful, even boring, for the people watching him most closely. He spent most of 1995 in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, a wild refuge filled with elk, deer and moose like his home in Canada´s Hay River Valley. Nez Perce tribal biologists monitored his movements under contract with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The tribe got the job when the Idaho Legislature refused to allow state officials any role in managing wolves legislators they didn´t want in the state. The tribe lobbied hard to get the wolf program, which would become the nucleus of its ambitious effort to share management of wildlife on its traditional lands. Tribal leaders made sure a fish and wildlife class at Lapwai High School was part of a “Track a Wolf” program tied to the reintroduction. The Nez Perce students named B2 Chat Chaaht, which means “older brother” in the Nez Perce language. They painted the glorified dog collar that carried Chat Chaaht´s radio transmitter in black and red colours, and they followed his movement As the novelty wore off and the wolf didn´t move around much, the reports became rather boring. One of the few highlights was biologists watching Chat Chaaht bully a mountain lion off an elk kill. Chat Chaaht remained in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. By the end of 1996, he seemed to have dropped off the Earth – for more than a year and a half, biologists recorded no sightings of him. Scientists thought that maybe the radio collar had failed early, but biologists got one bit of hope: in 1997 repeated reports placed a wolf wearing a red and black collar in the Elk River area in north-central Idaho.

Suddenly, in 1998, B2 seemed to be everywhere. He showed up more than 80 km south of his wilderness haunts in the East Fork of the Salmon River, on the east side of the White Cloud Mountains. He moved around Ketchum and Sun Valley, creeping through the back yards of Idaho´s wealthy wilderness lovers. And B2 had another surprise for his watchers: he had found a mate. She was B66, a young member of the Stanley Basin Pack. In 1999, B2 was seen in the Trail Creek area that connects Sun Valley to the towering Pioneer Mountains to the south. By spring 2000, he and B66 had set up housekeeping in the 300,000-acre Copper Basin, a stunning high-mountain valley southeast of Sun Valley. The pair had a litter of two pups and formed the Wildhorse Pack, named for the Lost River tributary .

In 2001, they had five more pups. Copper Basin was the back yard of Rick Williamson , a federal trapper with U.S. Wildlife Services, the agency that had to control wolves and kill them, if necessary. Williamson lived in Arco, east of Copper Basin, killing coyotes and other predators that ate ranchers´ cattle and sheep. He tracked the Wildhorse Pack and developed a close relationship with B2 and his family. He was fond of him, because there was a lot of mystery in B2´s life and that´s what intrigued him about that wolf. When a U.S. forest ranger planned a controlled burn in the drainage where the pack denned, he stepped in.

Carter Niemeyer worked for the same agency. He had killed hundreds, maybe thousands, of predators in his career, including wolves, and in 2001, he had become the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service´s point man on wolves in Idaho. He was the man who decided whether a wolf would live or die. In 1995, he had worked with the two Canadian trappers capturing the wolves, and he admired B2 for his survival skills. In the winter of 2001, B2 needed a new collar, so Niemeyer chased him from a helicopter and shot him with a tranquilizer. B2 was now at least 10 years of age, old for a wild wolf. Niemeyer could see cataracts in his eyes, but yet, the old wolf was still lean and strong.

Everybody wanted to coddle the old boy, every rancher-wolf conflict after the reintroduction was inherently political. Ranchers would go all the way to Washington, D.C. to pressure Niemeyer and his superior, Bangs, to act. Dave Nelson was no ordinary rancher. He was president of the Idaho Cattle Association, and he didn´t have to call his congressman to exercise his clout. When Nelson told Niemeyer in 2001 that he suspected he was losing cattle to wolves, he wanted something done immediately. Niemeyer and Nelson went toe to toe, in a respectful sort of way. They told him that they would kill the wolves around him, but not B2. Like almost every other rancher in Idaho, Nelson had opposed wolf reintroduction, and in 2001, he and his association opposed anything but complete removal of wolves. But that view was evolving. The Farm Bureau´s challenge to reintroduction was resolved, and two federal appeals courts had ruled the wolf program legal. Williamson helicoptered up Fox Creek where B2 and B66 had their den, and saw the pack had just killed one of Nelson´s calves. B2 had one of the calf´s legs in his mouth as he scurried away. Williamson was 6 m away with a dart gun in hand, but he did not shoot at B2. Trappers caught one of B2´s female offspring and relocated her to Montana, and the cattle killings apparently stopped. The next year, the Cattle Association reversed its position, becoming a major supporter of Idaho´s wolf management plan, which gave ranchers more power to kill wolves that killed their livestock. Nelson wrote newspaper columns calling on other wolf opponents to sign on. He wrote “we can live with the wolves if we can manage them, and we need to keep them wild so they are afraid of us. When Nelson brought in his cattle from the range after the 2001 grazing season, 21 animals were missing. He lost four cattle in a normal year, and he was convinced the Wildhorse Pack cost him thousands of dollars that year .

Ralph Maughan, the political science professor at Idaho State University, is one of Idaho´s most prominent environmentalists. A former national Sierra Club board member, he is one of the founders of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, a leading national voice for wolf reintroduction. His website provided regular updates on the wolves and the battles swirling in their wake. He is skeptical that B2´s offspring deserve the blame for all of Nelson´s extra losses. The year Nelson lost the cattle, he found four calves trapped behind a fence in the area and reported them to federal range managers. Ranchers lose livestock to more than wolves.

Maughan developed his own bond with B2. In July 2000, he hiked up the East Fork of Fall Creek in the Pioneer Mountains. He found hundreds of antelope, elk, deer and moose in a small, wet canyon largely unaffected by the drought. The moon lit the valley, shining off the backs of animals. Suddenly, B2 and the Wildhorse Pack came within several hundred meters of Maughan´s lonely camp, howling on a cliff above his tent. It went on for about five minutes, and it was just wonderful.

Tragedy strug B2 in winter 2001/2002.He and B66 had moved south out of Copper Basin up Muldoon Creek east of Carey, just north of Craters of the Moon National Monument. Williamson was flying another darting campaign to radio-collar more of the pack when he picked up B66´s signal; it was in “mortality mode,” a signal triggered by the wolf´s lack of movement. A federal investigator later concluded B66 had been killed by an elk. The Wildhorse Pack broke up – B2 began ranging far from his home, heading back to the places where he had first met B66, the Stanley Basin and the East Fork of the Salmon River. He was in search of where his mate went, and he never gave up. B2 still displayed remarkable stamina. One day Williamson found him in Copper Basin, the next day, Bangs found him in Muldoon Creek. B2 had covered more than 24 km and climbed over a 3000-meter mountain range. Bangs was accompanied by ABC News anchor Peter Jennings and a video crew. The crew wanted to keep shooting, but Bangs ordered the helicopter to move on. Near the end of 2002, B2 had moved back to the East Fork of the Salmon River. That was the same area where Niemeyer and Williamson had killed an entire pack, the Whitehawk Pack, because of repeated livestock losses to wolves. The act triggered protests from all over the world. Jennings´ special on Idaho´s wolf battles and the controversy over the Whitehawk Pack´s killing, helped bring Idaho´s wolves out from the shadow of the Yellowstone wolves, which had dominated media coverage and government funding. Idaho´s wolf population was 300 and growing. B2 and his counterparts were proving that Idaho, despite ranchers, hunters and other threats, was the safest place for wolves in the West. In December, B2 showed up in the corrals of an East Fork rancher, but he left the livestock alone and remained the great survivor.

Incredibly, in 2003 B2 found another mate and that spring had four more pups; his second litter since Niemeyer had decided to let him live. B2´s new Castle Peak Packlived in the White Clouds, part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. There a federal judge had ordered special protection for wolves after the Whitehawk Pack´s destruction. Curt Mack, the biologist who leads the Nez Perce wolf program, saw B2 several times in his frequent flights over the area. They affectionately referred to him as The Old Man. They were very careful not to run him because they didn’t want to stress him out. In February of this year, USA Today called B2 “a Methuselah among wolves” in a story about the death of the last original Yellowstone wolf. At the age of 14, B2 had outlived all but perhaps one of the four Idaho wolves that spent their first 74 hours in the United States boxed up waiting for a judge to set them free.

This past February, tribal biologists were working in the headwater of Herd Creek, east of the East Fork, an area under consideration for wilderness protection by Republican Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson. The biologists got bad news: B2´s collar was sending a mortality signal. In April, Williamson tried to hike into Herd Creek to determine B2´s fate. He came within a range of 800 m when a snow and hail storm forced him to return the 8 km to his car. On the way back, he picked up a tick bite that sent him to the hospital for five days. For Williamson, B2 remained a mystery. He lived the way a wolf ought to live, but on April 16th, Mack and Jon Trapp, a graduate student working with the tribe, hiked six miles through the rolling hills of Herd Creek and found B2 in a grove of aspen. The old wolf lay beside the remains of his last kill, a young fork-horn elk that the Castle Peak Pack had picked clean. B2 had either been injured in the hunt or, as Mack suggested, just decided he would stay and pick at the carcass until he died. He was laying there just like he was taking a nap, and Trapp said he would not have been surprised if he had got up and walked away.

Original story by Rocky Barker

March 4th, 2007

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2007/03/04/74031/wolf-b2-changed-idaho.html#storylink=cpy

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 106

The Alascan Wolf’s Cry

by Wolfqueen, 2007

Alone I wander, alone I sleep,
Alone I hunt and alone I sing.

All alone, all alone, all alone.
But I was not always alone, no, not always.

Once there was a pack, and pups, and a mate.
And together we hunted, wandered and played.

Then down from the sky came the airplane,
And with pounding hearts we ran for the trees.

But the plain swooped down on us like a great bird of prey,
While the humans inside fired away.

One by one my fellow wolves fell,
Twisting and crying, their blood staining the snow.

Running at my side my mate was shot down,
Letting out a yelp as she hit the ground.

Safe in the trees I turned my head,
To see my pack mates all lying dead.

Only then did the humans land their plain,
To pose for some pictures by the wolves they had slain.

Those humans took everything from me that day,
Breaking my heart and crushing my spirit along the way.

Now wandering alone, though the night, I whimper and sigh,
Thinking one word over and over: WHY?

Someone out there, hear my lonely cry,
And tell me, please, why do you want us to die?

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary, Part 97

By Erin

Wow, it seems that winter is coming to an end. We even had the first drops of rain last Saturday, nothing much, but still very welcome. Another sign for spring being just around the corner is the kids starting to shed their underwool, which ads painfully to the tons of dust and dry grass that drive me almost insane this time of the year.

The weaverbirds are busy building new nests, and the first trees have started to sprout new leaves. Some of my bushes and shrubs have started to flower, but I cannot much enjoy them because Kajack II likes to make a short story of them. It’s his first spring, and the colourful flowers seem to be very attractive to him. No idea whether they taste so nice or if they appeal to him as toys growing on bushes, but the moment he discovers one he will bite it off, and all I find in the garden are single petals shredded to pieces.

To him and Ascar II the garden must look completely different from what they knew before, and since they have seen me doing the first pruning and cleaning of flowerbeds from rotten leaves and other debris, they apparently want to “help” with the garden work whenever I’m busy outside. While I was busy in the herb garden cutting off what had died during winter, they decided that the blackberry shrubs along the fence of the herb garden also needed some pruning. They were very surprised and disappointed to hear that I didn’t appreciate their initiative at all. And have you ever tried to carry a full water bucket from one corner of the garden to another with two overly curious noses stuck in it and eight legs getting entangled between yours? Don’t even try it; it’s no fun at all.

Another very popular game of theirs is to try and snap at the jet of water from the hosepipe when I try to water the garden. Since I, luckily, somehow managed to make them understand that catching and biting into the moving hosepipe is a no-no, the jet of water coming from the nozzle is the second best option. This way it’s guaranteed that the kids and I get most of the water that is actually supposed for the plants. That might be great fun in summer, but in winter it’s anything but funny.

Kajack II has turned into a rather gentle character, and he is listening pretty well. It would even appear that he enjoys learning very much and finds it chic to do things right, taking visible pride in his being so clever. For his part, Ascar II is still very much on the wild side, and listening to Ted or me is something he only does if it is to his benefit. Otherwise his ears seem rather ornamental. He is also the more dominant one of the two and loves to bully Kajack around whenever he gets a chance. He also tries his luck with Aqua and Taima, but they don’t take any of his nonsense and will very quickly put him in his place. I guess he will calm down eventually, and with time, he will also learn that Kajack’s seemingly endless patience has a limit. He has already started showing him one of his impressive K9s on several occasions when Ascar wanted to chase him off the blanketed couch in the evening although there was enough space left for him, too. They aren’t a year old yet, so many things are bound to change within the next year or two. When I think back, Taima used to be as wild as Ascar is now, always trying to play-fight with us and the others, having no sense of what would physically hurt us or the others when she was in play mode, sinking her teeth into everything she could get hold of, and we had serious doubts that this would ever change for the better. Now she is 2.5 years old and as gentle as we could wish for, almost a real lady (but with a naughty twinkle in the eye), very intent on doing everything according to pack etiquette, and being a very good example to the both youngsters.

… will be continued