Gypsum’s Goodbye

Gypsum was born at a facility in Minnesota on May 6, 2013. Ten days later, he arrived at Wolf Park. Along with his sisters, Ifa and Hunter, they became the first socialized grey foxes at our facility. Even at that early age, with his eyes barely open, he was already climbing up shirts and curling up on shoulders.

He was the favored sleeping companion by almost all who assisted in raising the kits. He was an amazing snuggler. He was also a little thief, so it was important to clear out pockets before he had a chance to investigate them. This continued throughout his life. He even managed to nab a set of car keys and cache them. Over his first few months of life he had a tendency to play hard and sleep hard. It was not unusual for him to be carried, sound asleep, like a baby back into the nursery after a big day outside.

Gypsum was shy of crowds, and often displayed the typical elusive nature of grey foxes during open hours. He had a select group of humans that he loved. For those lucky few, he enjoyed licking the inside of their noses, cuddling, and receiving belly rubs. During sponsor visits and seminars, he would come out and sit on his “safe stones” and watch. Eventually he would work up enough “brave juice” to approach close enough for someone to toss him a treat.

Gypsum’s social circle was small, but his personality was mighty. The world was his to conquer. He once threatened Kanti, who was so frightened that he ran away and hid behind Bicho. Gypsum was convinced wolves were easily defeated ever after.  He absolutely loved his walks. That is often how he connected best with people he didn’t know.

He lived life to the fullest. In the fall of 2014, Gypsum tried to swallow a mouse whole and got it stuck in his insides. The wonderful team at Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital removed it. Gypsum spent several months inside recovering from his surgery. His human friends kept him entertained with toys, strange foods, and books on tape. It was during this time that he developed his signature “What’s up” move – a nod that was captured when he pushed his cone up allowed his handlers to continue to work on relationship building with him.

Even though he enjoyed both of his siblings, he was exceptionally close to Hunter. They were never far from one another. Whenever one came back from a walk, there would be instant face greeting. We put face greeting on cue with “bisou”, the French word for little kiss, as the cue signal.

On Monday, April 2, Gypsum started acting not quite right. He had been dealing with a lot over the weekend (tours, kids) and we let him sleep. On Tuesday, he didn’t get up for medication rounds. We checked on him, and he just wasn’t his perky self. He didn’t want scrambled eggs (a favorite food) and, after a physical exam, and there was a concern about his stomach being tight. We took him into the clinic for a check-up but that was inconclusive. The game plan was bland diet, fluids and re-assess over the next 24-36 hours. We kept him inside. Kimber and Dana spent a lot of time watching over him. On Tuesday night, Gypsum went downhill and was in a lot of pain. We took him back to the clinic Wednesday morning, and the decision was made to do exploratory surgery. There was an odd mass that had started leaking fluids and his internal organs weren’t healthy at all. The only humane choice was to say good-bye. Even though he had a small social circle, Gypsum had a mighty personality and will be greatly missed.

 

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It Might Be Spring

 “March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb”, goes the old saying. But in the mid-west, it’s hard to know what the weather will do day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour. We’ve seen it all this spring – from flowers to snow showers. The wolves tell us they’d be happy if it stayed below freezing forever and always, but the rest of us would like to know if we can put away the shovels yet.

Spring means the wolves are calming down after the intensity of breeding season. This means we can resume letting Timber have play dates with the boys. We think she was happy to see Wotan.

The Easter Party occurred the week before Easter. Despite intense winds and threatening snow, visitors still came out to hunt for eggs and hide treats for the wolves. The pups had their first Easter, and definitely enjoyed the search. This holiday really belongs to the foxes, though. They LOVE eggs.

The weather warmed up for a few days after that. And then along came Easter Sunday. It snowed four inches. April Fools?

The weather is appreciated by wolves and photographers, of course. It’s hard to convince staff photographer, Monty Sloan, to leave the enclosure so the rest of us can warm up. Spring photo shoots are in full swing. Mostly they go well. And then there are the other times when the puppies steal someone’s hat.

Not a behavior we want to encourage, but they looked very cute destroying it.

Admittedly, Khewa looks cute forever and always.

Upcoming Events
April 20 – Wolf Park Day – Open 1-4pm
April 20 – Cookout Howl Night – 6 – 9:00pm
April 21 – Animals’ Birthday Party
May 5 – Walk for Wolves!

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Gnome Gnews is Good Gnews

It began with a casual remark from Monty, our resident space alien: “It must have been eaten by gnomes.”

The Wolf Park staff had been discussing how to stop losing the clips we use to fasten gate latches, which had taken to disappearing.  Of course we can replace them, but some latches do best with clips of a size that isn’t available locally anymore.  This is a relatively trivial problem, like sand in your socks, but with time and frequent repetition (a phenomenon referred to by behaviorists as stimulus stacking), minor irritations may cease to seem trivial (and more like cockleburs in your socks).

Until that casual comment during a staff meeting, I had thought it likely that some of our clips had simply reached their time of pupation and had changed into something that doesn’t resemble their previous form, much as safety pins pupate and turn into wire coat hangers.  (Back in the last century, my high school science teacher explained the curious and exasperating life cycle of safety pins and wire coat hangers.  Safety pins are a larval form of the wire coat hanger.   When you go through a period where you can’t lay your hand on a safety pin anywhere, but the amount of wire coat hangers in your closet has burgeoned out of all proportion to how many garments are in need of hanging, a pupation season has just ended.)

But perhaps Monty was right, and gnomes were afoot, or around, or possibly ajar.  Were gnomes indeed stealing our gate clips?  How could one tell?  My knowledge of gnomes comes primarily from the invaluable works of Messrs. Poortvliet and Froud.  It didn’t seem likely the gnomes studied by Mr. Poortvliet would eat metal double ended snaps or boat clips.  Those gnomes seem a lot like us, only gnicer.  They don’t seem to intend animals, or us, any harm.  However, appearances can be deceiving.  For example, squirrels will eat, or at least gnaw, car wiring, which is gnot something you would expect of them.  (If you see a squirrel standing up on its hind legs under your car, beware!  It may look like a little furry mechanic, but it isn’t.)

Less is understood about the gnomes in Mr. Froud’s books, but they seem to be a more sinister species (or subspecies) than the ones described by Poortvliet.  However, gno mention is made of this kind of gnome, either, consuming or hoarding fencing equipment.

Perhaps we had been missing something that was hiding, as it were, in plain sight.  Gnoticing that our resident space alien uses human artifacts in ways they were gnot intended, such as making crop circles in cakes, I have been looking for other things that seem a little off, having a certain something that makes them, despite appearances, gnothing like gnormal.

Take, for instance, burdocks and cockleburs, aka “Gnature’s Velcro.”  Every year, to the exasperation of both species, we humans find these in our wolves’ fur.  They make unattractive mats in the wolves’ fur, exasperating our photographer.  Sometimes the wolves act as if the burrs feel irksome, and we agree with them when we remove them from the wolves’ fur.  (Gnote: the wolves stay much happier if you pull the fur away from the burr, rather than the other way around.)

Wolves can pick up burrs directly from the burr bushes, but burrs can also be placed on their fur deliberately.  Over the years we have occasionally stuck burrs on wolves to distract them from certain behaviors and divert them to grooming themselves instead.  (We don’t put them in places where they will be hard to reach or painful.) But our wolves get burrs even when we aren’t around, so it’s possible that some of those burrs were put on our wolves deliberately by…some other force.  Why might gnomes want to stick burrs on wolves?  If you search the internet, you can find videos of humans enjoying bounce sports in combination with a Velcro wall.  They jump at the wall from a trampoline or “bounce house” floor, and stick to the wall.  Are some of the burrs in the wolves’ fur from gnomes daring each other to jump at the wolves, stick to them, and ride around?  While I can easily imagine adolescent gnomes daring each other to stick to, and ride, wolves, this doesn’t make it so.

Also, if you search L-Space, you can find literature describing, or accusing, elves of riding horses at night, leaving the horses tired and sweaty by morning.  They also are said to braid amazing knots into horses’ manes to hold on by, and possibly for decoration.  Once again, there are other ways horses’ manes can get knotted.  Some horses’ manes tend to twine into strings when they have been left ungroomed for a while.  Add to this a horse that tosses its mane when restless, or bothered by flies, and the horse itself can create amazing (and frustrating) macrame in its mane – sections sporting three-strand braids, while other sections look like some scouts went wild trying for a knotting badge!  These knots and braids look as if they were made by dexterous fingers – and maybe some of them were.  But knot by human hands!

Agnother possible clue, or then again, maybe gnot:  We have noticed that this year Timber seems calmer.  She can still be very very very bouncy, but she just doesn’t do it as often.  Our first thoughts were that she is maturing.  This may be a contributing factor, but maturity does not always curb excited effervescence in animals.  My first horse had a lot of energy into his teens and early 20’s.  If I had been able to do about 18 miles of trail riding on the Flying Red Horse during Saturday and Sunday, he was quite cheerful and ready to go on Monday, but also calm and biddable.  If Timber were giving rides to gnomes (or elves) in the evenings after the Park has closed, it might explain her more peaceable gnature in the mornings.

Is Timber calmer this spring because she is giving gnomes rides when gno humans are around to see?  Are gnomes absconding with our gate clips?  I wish I gnew.  More observations are gnecessary.  If any of our Gentle Readers have any observations to contribute, please contact us.  Gno man is an island.  The Truth Is Out There….

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February Holiday Season

The wolves had an unplanned observance of Fat Tuesday when a farmer donated an 800lb cow. Normally we don’t take animals of that size since we can’t store something so huge and the wolves don’t eat it fast enough, but it’s winter so we can leave the meat out longer, and we’re lower on deer than we’d like to be.

The boys and their massive meal. Photo by Karen Davis

We distributed the legs and head to various groups, and then let the boy pups have first go at the torso. The boy and girl pups are currently separated for the breeding season, so the girls had a leg to themselves and a front-row seat to watching the boys figure out how to handle the biggest carcass they’d ever encountered.

The boys were a little frightened of this mountain of flesh. They did a lot of circling and cautious poking before realizing, “it’s made of meat!”. The cow had also arrived with some straw and manure attached. The boys alternated between rolling in the straw, and eating off the carcass.

Niko practices ripping and tearing. Photo by Karen Davis

By evening, we had an assortment of very round wolves sleeping off a heavy meal.

Khewa nibbles a hoof. Photo by Karen Davis

 

Valentine’s Day…?

Valentine’s Day falls during the animals’ breeding season, so some years romance is in the air. This was not one of those. The girl pups spent the season separated from their brothers, because we want our girls to be grown-ups before they consider children and begin dating non-related wolves. Timber also sat the breeding season out, despite flirting a lot through the fence with Wotan and Wolfgang. Fiona continues to tell the boys that they are icky, and Ayla tells us she is too old for such games. No puppies this year, and we’re glad to continue giving the 2017 pups lots of attention as they head into their second year of life.

Joker attending Scarlette. Photo by Christopher Lile.

Over in the fox den, Scarlette and Joker coupled-up for one whole day. Joker was cute, attentive, and irritating for several days during the stretch in which he wanted Scarlette all to himself, and she really wanted to play with her human visitors. She spent a lot of time sleeping in huts, and whining if he got too close. They are now back to their old married couple routine, and the happier for it.

Silly-Faced Joker. Photo by Christopher Lile.

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Coastal Wolves of Vancouver Island

Photo by Ian McAllister

by London Wolff

Vancouver Island, north of Seattle, is homes to a very special population of gray wolves known as Coastal Wolves. They differ from the Timber and Arctic wolves in that they are about 20% smaller on average, are usually a little redder in color, live near water in the pacific northwest and, instead of hunting ungulates in packs, they hunt sea life. During the fall, a large portion of their diet consists of salmon which swims upstream from the ocean to spawn. Other parts of the year, when salmon are not as plentiful, the wolves can be seen swimming out to feast on herring eggs, digging up clams, and hunting crab. They have even been known to eat whales which have washed up on shore.

These wolves have adapted to live in a place where one of the last temperate rainforests meets the ocean. They often must transverse from small island to small island. They have been known to swim seven and a half miles between land masses.

Utilizing this niche over time has led to behavioral differences, as well as morphological and genetic changes.  These wolves have been found to be genetically distinct from their Canadian interior counterparts.

Photo by Ian McAllister

Due to human intervention, these wolves were gone from Vancouver Island in the 1960s, but then repopulated the area from populations living in the Great Bear Rainforest. If we want to keep this population thriving for decades to come, we must make a conscious effort to do so.

Last month the B.C. government put forth a proposal to increase the trapping season on Vancouver Island by two months. The trapping season is currently eight months long. They are trying to lengthen it to ten. The government proposal is less than one-page, and does not include a single piece of scientific evidence. The explanation for their decision is only two paragraphs long. In it they explain they came to there conclusion based on the anecdotal evidence of “public sightings and observations”. Trappers and hunters reported increased wolf sightings correlating with a decrease in deer sightings. Nothing is mentioned regarding deer carcass found with signs of wolves or wolf killings sighted. As previously mentioned, the wolves on Vancouver Island are significant because of their unique trait of procuring 90% of their diet from the sea.

It is estimated that there are around 250 wolves on Vancouver Island that this edict could effect. However, the government has not done any comprehensive survey work since 1994. The reasoning given for this oversight is that monitoring wolves is “costly and difficult”, especially considering its “low conservation concern status”. Unlike in the United States, the gray wolf is listed as least concern throughout the entire country of Canada which can make it hard to persuade the government to take an interest in protecting these animals.

To learn more and make your voice heard, sign and share the Save BC Wolves Petition.

Photo by Ian McAllister

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Fox Songs

Fox curator Kimber heard Scarlette making a vocalization we’ve never heard a fox make before. We’re still researching what it means, but we think it has something to do with courtship. Scarlette was kind enough to repeat the sound for the camera.

Breeding season is underway, especially among the foxes. Joker pursues Scarlette incessantly. He’d like best if she stayed quietly in a hut where he can easily keep her in sight and by his side, but Scarlette has things to do and places to be. She wants to play with her human friends, not just with Joker. She and Joker spend time apart each day to give both a breather, and give Scarlette a chance at other companionship.

Gypsum and Hunter

Gypsum and Hunter. Photo by Kimber Hendrix

In the grey fox half of the enclosure, Gypsum and Hunter are exhibiting courtship behavior. They were both fully sterilized this year so there aren’t any of those hormones, but the behavior patterns are still there. Gypsum is being especially lovey this year, both with Hunter and with his human friends. He’s much calmer than in past years. He’s been able to go out on walks, much to his delight.

Gypsum on a walk

Gypsum explores the wider world. Photo by Kimber Hendrix

Upcoming Events
Feb 10Winter Wolves
March 3Dollar Days
March 24Easter Party
April 20Cookout Howl Night
April 21Animals’ Birthday Party

Don’t forget to check out our upcoming Seminars, Photo Shoots, and Kids Camps.

 

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Saying Goodbye to Renki

Renki – April 12, 2004 – January 5, 2018

Renki is no longer with us. A wolf who could fairly be called a legend at Wolf Park was put to sleep on the evening of January 5th. He had been under the weather since December 24th. At first it looked as though it could be a GI infection. We hoped he would recover in a few days, but it was not to be.

Having an indoor infirmary (the Alison Franklin Animal Care Center) was wonderful. We monitored Renki around the clock during some bitterly cold days and nights. As she did after his leg amputation in 2016, Dana slept with him on the futon during night shifts. Giving him subcutaneous fluids, since he was not drinking enough on his own, in an indoor area rather than outdoors, went very smoothly because we could feel our fingers to insert the needle, and the fluid didn’t freeze in the line. Ed Franklin’s gift in memory of his wife, Alison, made a real difference!

During his last two weeks in the indoor kennel he was able to enjoy things like visiting the kitchen (on leash) and watching his pill boluses prepared with treat food. He put his nose up to the edge of the counter and stood there grinning, eyes twinkling, waiting for me to put the bolus in his mouth. He did not have much appetite, but he liked small amounts of treat food. He also enjoyed visits from human friends.

On Wednesday, 1/3 he took a turn for the worse. His breathing rate at rest and asleep was higher than normal. He lost strength and energy. He needed help to maintain a standing position and to walk around. His appetite had increased, but his loss of strength and energy was not a good sign. Dr. Becker came out on Friday for some more diagnostics and consultation. X-rays at the clinic were the next step. The x-rays showed some worrisome changes in his lungs. That and the overall change in his condition, convinced us that we had given him all the good time we could. He was humanely euthanized while Dana cuddled with him. Dr. Becker thought, and I concurred, that, while he was feeling some discomfort, he was not yet in actual pain.

We miss him dreadfully, but are glad that he will not experience further debilitation. In the 17 months since his leg amputation, he has embodied the phrase “Seize the day,” making the most of the time that operation bought him. It’s been a privilege to know him and to see him get on with life every day, even on all threes instead of all fours, and adapting to increasing hearing loss in the last year. All the time we spent with him made his last days in the animal care center much more comfortable and he was able to enjoy visiting the kitchen, having visits from human friends, and once from Ayla (who was kept on leash so she could not knock into him). Of his immediate family, he is survived by his sister, Ayla, half brothers, Wotan and Wolfgang, and niece and nephews, Fiona, Sparrow, Kanti, Bicho, Aspen, and Máni.

We will always remember you Renki.  Hail and Farewell.

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Celebrating Timber and Scarlette

Timber and Bicho practice their karate. Photo by Monty Sloan

We’re celebrating milestones at Wolf Park this week as we celebrate the ‘adoption’ dates of two of our residents. Two years ago this week, Timber came to live with us. Three years ago, Scarlette was our early Christmas present.

Scarlette in repose. Photo by Kimber Hendrix

Wolf Park is not a rescue and we typically don’t bring in adult animals, but Scarlette and Timber were special cases. Scarlette was brought to our attention just as we were looking for new red foxes to join Wolf Park’s animal residents. Raised around humans and dogs, she was a extremely well socialized, and completely unfit for life in the wild. The rescue she was living at needed to find her a forever home and we were a perfect fit. Scarlette arrived ready and willing to love all humans, make friends with the wolves… and with no idea how to be a fox. We laugh now about the way she poked her first whole carcass and gave us a look of ‘how do I get to the cream filling?’ or the way she would ‘bury’ excess food by dropping it in corners. She chased the wolves along the fence, squealing for the giant, fluffy ‘foxes’ to come and visit her. The wolves tended to salivate at the sight so there were no options for an actual meet and greet.

Scarlette and Joker. Photo by Kimber Hendrix

Joker’s arrival in the spring definitely taught Scarlette about being a proper fox. They bonded quickly and have been affectionate roommates ever since. Like her, Joker is convinced the wolves (except Timber) are future playmates. They fell in love with the wolf puppies this year. With the nursery right across from them, they had ample opportunity to monitor puppy development. They paced the fence with meat in their mouths, calling for the puppies to dine with them. A crying puppy was sure to bring the foxes running with anxious chirps to save them from harm. When the pups started taking walks past the enclosure, the foxes’ joy knew no bounds. They particularly seemed to like Sparrow, who is still often referred to as their ‘daughter’.

Scarlette and Joker excavate their den in case of puppies. Photo by Kimber Hendrix

Meanwhile, Timber was brought to our attention at a time when we were looking for unrelated wolves to join the Wolf Park lineage. Puppies had proven difficult to find so we were interested when Timber was offered to us. She’d been brought up at a facility where she’d been socialized to people and dogs. She’d spent her early life doing outreach programs in the community, but was reaching the age when she needed a home around other wolves. We were happy to give her a new home.

Timber pesters Wotan. He tolerates her better than the other wolves, but not at this moment. Photo by Monty Sloan

Unlike Scarlette, who surveyed her new territory and proclaimed herself queen of all she saw, Timber took some time to adjust to Wolf Park. She wasn’t used to so many people looking after her, and she had no idea how to handle visitors walking past on tours. She was FASCINATED by the wolves next door, particularly Wotan and Wolfgang whom she actively pursued with the wolf equivalent of ‘Hey, sailor! Want to buy a girl a drink?’ The boys seemed a little dazed by the attention.

Eventually Timber started visiting the male wolves and made it clear she loved every boy! To the point that none of the boys could stand her energy level for long. Renki and Wolfgang tolerated brief play dates with her. Wotan and Bicho enjoyed her company for longer stretches, but even they had their limits.

Timber greets the 2017 puppies. Photo by Monty Sloan

This year was an important one for Timber as she became the mother of five healthy wolf pups. She did a nice job looking after them in the den, but was less sure how to handle them once they started moving around. She treated the pups like adult wolves, which was overwhelming for the little ones. She also began showing negative intentions toward the females as soon as they started looking like adult female wolves. She still receives play dates with her sons, Aspen and Máni, and foster son, Niko, but even they find Timber’s bouncy nature to be too much. We hope she’ll settle down eventually and can have a full-time companion, but until then, she is fortunately happy with human attention, walks, toys, and regular dates with all her boys.

Timber and Aspen. All Timber’s puppies already outweigh her. Photo by Monty Sloan

We are blessed to have Scarlette and Timber as part of the family and so grateful for the joy they’ve brought to us.

Upcoming Events
December 16Santa Visits Wolf Park
January 13Winter Wolves
February 10Winter Wolves

Please consider donating to Wolf Park this holiday season! We cannot exist without the support of so many wonderful people. 2018 is projected to bring new changes to Wolf Park including new seminars, updated kids camps, new education displays, more trees, and improvements to the enclosures. Please help us continue our mission! Sponsor a wolf, become a member, or donate to our year-end fund. We appreciate your support!

How Scarlette greets her favorite people. Photo by Kimber Hendrix

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Donate This Holiday Season

Dear Friend of Wolf Park,

Forty-five years ago, Wolf Park’s founder, Dr. Erich Klinghammer inspired us with his mission to “Save Wolves, Save Wilderness”—this year with YOUR help we have celebrated his memory and done just that. Along with our 45th Anniversary weekend celebration in April we spent the year reminiscing as well as dreaming about where Wolf Park was, how far it’s come, and where to go next. Your loyalty and generosity, along with Dr. Klinghammer’s vision inspire the volunteers, board of directors, and staff everyday making us want to do more not just for our animal ambassador’s but for wolves in the wild.

Your donation today will help Wolf Park succeed tomorrow.

Along with hosting over 19,000 guests for our regularly scheduled guided tours, summer camps, educational seminars and howl nights, your financial support in 2017 helped to accomplish many exciting things including:

  • In April we welcomed FIVE new animal ambassadors to the pack—Aspen, Máni, and Sparrow were born at Wolf Park. We partnered with Wolf Mountain in upstate New York to trade two of our wolf pups with theirs to increase genetic diversity, thus bringing Niko and Khewa to Wolf Park.
  • Some new displays were added to our education building this past year including a naturalistic den display allowing visitors to learn more about our animal ambassadors’ wild counterparts.
  • This summer Wolf Park partnered with the Purdue Climate Change Research Center and offered “Tipping Point: Talking Climate and Carnivores over a Cold One”, a four-lecture series on climate change.
  • We offered a brand new seminar focusing solely on animal enrichment by Dr. Lindsay Mehrkam.
  • DSC_0737-1024x683

    $250 donation. 6″ Magnetic Car Magnet

    Our Wolf Park summer team built a hut structure including a firehose bed for our 1.5 acre enclosure, which is a favorite of our animal.

Those are just the highlights, too! YOUR support makes Wolf Park’s success a reality, and we couldn’t do what we do without YOU. We are honored and grateful that you choose to support Wolf Park and we are asking you to continue your financial support now. Your gift of any size is appreciated. No amount is too large or too small!

Wolf Park does not receive government funding. Please donate today!

Stoneware Mug

$500 donation – Mugs come in a variety of colors. Receive the limited 45th Anniversary edition logo while supplies last.

On average, it takes $545,000 to maintain Wolf Park and we rely on your donations to help us cover our costs. YOU are the reason that we are able to provide excellent care to each of our animals. Financial contributions also help us provide education to the public and resources for researchers working to support our animal ambassadors’ wild counterparts. Please consider making a donation to Wolf Park today.

As a special thank you for our contributors this year, we are offering “gifts” for the following donation levels:

  • For $250, you will receive a new Wolf Park Car Magnet and a 4X6 matted photo taken by Monty Sloan.
  • For $500, you will receive our Wolf Park Stoneware Mug.
  • For $750, you will receive a new Wolf Park fleece blanket.
  • For $1000, you will receive, a one-year sponsorship and a Photo Session with hardcover photo book containing photos of your visit.
Micro-Plush Blanket

$750 Donation. Micro-plush blanket. 50″X60″. Forest green with cream logo in corner.

Along with our daily expenses, our animal ambassadors need updated enclosures to continue to thrive. This year we are offering you an opportunity to contribute specifically to our Wolf Enclosure Capital Project. To participate, just click the checkbox to indicate that you wish your donation to go towards this project and 100% of the funds will be directed as such.

During this holiday season, please consider a gift to Wolf Park today. Your generous gift will enable us to continue providing outstanding care for our animals and engaging programming for visitors.

THANK YOU for sharing in Erich’s mission for the past 45 years. With your continuing support, we can share the next 45 with you, too!

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Tractors, Trees and Sailing

Photo by Natalie Risser

Thanks to the 2017 summer interns, The Land Nursery and Boy Scout Troop 205, Wolf Park is a greener place. The interns raised money to purchase a lot of new trees at an amazing price from Walter Beineke at The Land Nursery. The boy scouts and several volunteers spent their Saturday morning planting them. There are thirty trees in the ground, and we hope to do a second planting before winter. The trees have been planted in the wolf enclosures and along the walking trail to provide shade and beauty for both our animals and visitors. Thank you all!

We hope to plant A LOT more trees before winter. Donate to help make Wolf Park green. Trees are only $25 apiece.

Photo by Natalie Risser

We have a new tractor! After years of service, our old tractor finally gave up the ghost. We’re so grateful to friend-of-the-park Crystal Hagan for doing the leg work to provide us with our new tractor. It’s a huge need of ours in every season to cut grass, move objects, dig holes, plow snow, smooth gravel, feed the bison, and so much more! Thanks Tri Green Tractor and store manager Eric Clark for the amazing discount. You found us the perfect tractor for our needs!

The puppies did their first Howl Night on Friday. Friday Howl Nights are usually small, so we chose a Friday for their first one to let them get used to a small crowd. It turned out to be the biggest Friday Howl Night of the year. The pups did great, even if they didn’t howl. We’d included some enrichment for them, in order to provide distraction as need and assure them big crowds are fun! Khewa really likes jumping for things hung from trees.

That night the pups were given a pumpkin as part of their enrichment. We wanted them to get used to gourds before October’s Pumpkin Party, plus we wanted promotional photos. The pups loved it. Everyone chewed on the insides, and several games of chase made use of the pumpkin lid.

Want a photo of a puppy or another animal enjoying the Pumpkin Party? Support the event receive a picture of the animal of your choice enjoying a seasonal treat!

Monty and the pups set sail. Photo by Sara Preston

Puppy photo shoots are still happening every Tuesday in the main enclosure. The groups were pretty small this month so we’ve taken advantage of the park’s rowboat. From there we can get excellent shots of the wolves on the shore. Aspen was the first puppy to take a boat ride – by accident. He managed to launch the boat while leaping into it, then got in the way of staff member Caity, who was trying to paddle. They ended up being adrift far longer than she’d intended before she was able to get him back to shore. Since then, the pups have become better at climbing out of the boat. Máni particularly enjoys rides.

Staff, photographers and Aspen out for a ride. Photo by Dana Drenzek

There are still slots open for the fall photo shoots and seminars. Sign up today!

Upcoming Events
9/23 – After Dark
10/21 – After Dark
10/28 – Pumpkin Party

Fiona and the puppies have a pool party! Photo by Monty Sloan

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