Eat at Nine Irish Brothers and Support Wolf Park!

2016 - puppy shower charity event flyer - smallHelp us throw a “puppy shower” for our (hopefully) incoming litter of puppies by participating in our Puppy Shower Charity Event on Monday, May 2!

Visit Nine Irish Brothers in Lafayette or West Lafayette anytime between 5:00-10:00 pm on May 2 and 100% of the net profits from your order will go directly to Wolf Park to support improvements to our puppy-raising facilities!

You can visit either location:

3520 St Rd 38 E
Lafayette, IN 47905

119 Howard Ave
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Please call the Wolf Park office at (765) 567-2265 for more information.

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Unusual Animal Sighted at Wolf Park

Wolf Park is situated under one of the narrow ends of the bell-shaped curve.  In such a location we expect the unexpected.  So when I got an urgent call from the intern doing meatballs on April 1, saying that there was a strange animal loose inside our perimeter fence, I wasn’t exactly surprised.  Luckily I was already driving to the Park, and spent the drive wishing for those thrilling days of yesteryear when a neighbor’s pit bull occasionally paid us a visit, running the fence and frothing the wolves.  (Luckily she was a friendly pit bull.  The female wolves hated her on sight but a few of the males thought she was intriguingly cute in a weird way.)

When I arrived at the Park, the mystery animal was out in the bison pasture, excitedly trying to make friends with the bison.  It was probably not a dog or a coyote.  All our wolves, yotes, and foxes were present and accounted for.  The critter didn’t look like a big cat, or a raccoon either.  I did notice that it had a thick tail that tapered noticeably from base to tip.  Its topline also had a somewhat serrated, or possibly spiked, look.  I called Animal Control, but found that not only will they no longer come and collect injured or diseased raccoons, but neither will they come out and remove crypto-critters.  Apparently it’s some sort of insurance thing.  They suggested I call Wild Cat Creek Wildlife Rescue.

Meanwhile, several angry bison cows were chasing our mystery animal, which was busily running away.  It traveled in a mostly quadruped fashion, but rather like a raccoon, and again like a raccoon it appeared to have very dexterous paws, at least in front.  With the bison in hot pursuit it swarmed over the pasture fence, appearing to grasp the wire with its front paws, and in a dramatic display of bad life choice, it vaulted up and over the Turtle Lake Enclosure fence in a very raccoon-like way.   Inside the enclosure at the time were the Threebies – Bicho, Kanti and Fiona – who saw the invader and immediately gave chase.  I excitedly attempted videotaping this with my phone.  The video is not very useful for identifying the animal in question, though the fact that something was among us was plain to see.

With a quick doubling back maneuver, the strange beast caused Bicho and Kanti to crash into each other, but as they went down in a welter of flailing paws, Fiona kept up the chase.  The animal ran toward the pond and straight into the pond where for two bounds it appeared, like Wile E. Coyote, to be able to run over the surface of the water, but then it sank and thrashed back up to the surface.  It looked as though it used its tail to help propel itself through the water. Fiona leaped into the pond after it and moments later, Kanti and Bicho swam after it too.  Our wolves are all used to swimming.  They all gave aquatic pursuit to the astonishment of a small flock of Canada geese who were swimming on the pond.  The creature submerged about 20 feet away from the birds and seconds later two of the geese began to honk and beat their wings.  The entire flock took flight at that point, and the crypto-beast, firmly gripping the feet of two of the geese, one set of legs in each front paw, rose out of the water with them.  The flock left, still calling noisily, with the strange animal holding onto two of the geese.  We were left with angry bison cows, wet Threebies, and all the wolves at East Lake running up and down their respective fences. The coyotes were speechless, for once, and at the time of this writing are still so wide eyed that their eyes look as big as saucers.  The foxes all have big eyes too, but their eyes are only the size of coasters that you put under drinking glasses.   Scarlette shrieked EEEEEEEE EEEEEEEE EEEEEEE until the geese were out of sight.

The question of the crypto beast’s identification remains.  Unfortunately (or maybe it is fortunate) we have no remains to identify.  It was about the size of a large coyote, and looked leggier than a raccoon or otter.  If it had a pelt it was very short and fine – rather like bison coats (on the back half of the bison) in summer.  It ran on all fours but could climb at least as well as a raccoon and its method of using geese to escape showed that it has impressive gripping ability in its front paws.  The tail also did not look like either a canid or a felid tail. Along its dorsal surface it had what appeared to be small serrations, but not really spiny and it was uniformly dark in color.  Qualified cryptozoologists who may be able to tell us what this was are requested to contact Wolf Park.

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Celebrate Easter at Wolf Park on Sunday, March 20!

EasterJoin Wolf Park and the Easter Bunny for our annual Easter celebration and egg hunt on Sunday, March 20 from 1:00-5:00 pm!

The afternoon will feature treats for the animals, including animal-safe Easter treats like Peeps and hard boiled eggs.  At approximately 1:45 the Easter Bunny will begin hiding eggs in the (temporarily vacant) main pack enclosure.  Once the Bunny is finished and safely out of the enclosure at 2:00 pm, the wolves will be released into the enclosure to hunt for their treats!

Afterwards, enjoy egg hunts for all ages of humans, games, crafts, and egg and treat distribution for the gray and red foxes, coyotes, and wolves at East Lake, as well as guided tours.

Egg hunts for children will be held between 3:00-4:00 pm.

Guided tours of the Park will be offered at 1:15, 2:15 3:15, and 4:15.

Wolf Park closes at 5:00 pm.

SPECIAL ADMISSION:
Adults regular price
Children 13 and under FREE

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Join us for our Open House Saturday, March 5!

Bicho & Kanti Squishing Their Heads TogetherJoin us for the Wolf Park Open House Saturday, March 5, 2016, 1—4 p.m!

Wolf Park invites individuals, families, and organizations to make tracks to Battle Ground to see what we are all about!   Many people know that we have wolf Howl Nights — but they may not be aware that we have kids camps, volunteer opportunities, photography shoots, internships and in-depth seminars on wolf behavior that are perfect for dog and wolf lovers.

On Saturday March 5th we will be open from 1-4 p.m. and offer $1 admission (normally $8!) to all visitors, so that everyone can come out and learn about how Wolf Park furthers its mission of research, education and conservation.

For more information call us weekdays at 765-567-2265.

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Join us for Winter Wolves Saturday, January 16!

Bicho Out Standing on the Frozen PondWolf Park’s Winter Wolves
Saturday, January 16, 2016
1:00—4:00 PM

Join us for a day of fun at Wolf Park featuring the wolves in their glorious full winter coats!  Hot drinks will be available indoors so that visitors can warm up in between activities, which will include games and a butchering demonstration.

January is a great time to see the wolves, since they love the cold and tend to be active and howling all day long, unlike those long hot summer afternoons they spend napping.  When the pond is frozen over, the wolves skate and play on the ice.

Winter Wolves is a great time for families to come visit us — there is something for everyone!

For more information call (765)567-2265 or email wolfpark@wolfpark.org.

Adults $8; kids 6-13 $6; kids under 5 and Members FREE! Return for Howl Night at 7:30—a “combo ticket” will get you into both sessions for only $14 for adults; $10 for kids 6-13. For more information call (765)567-2265 or email wolfpark@wolfpark.org.

WINTER HOURS (January to May): Wolf Park is OPEN every Saturday night at 7:30 for our Howl Night program.

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Wild Wolves Settle in Kampinos National Park in Poland

A young male wolf is captured by a hidden wildlife camera in Kampinos National Park in Poland.  (Source: Kampinoski Park Narodowy)

A young male wolf is captured by a hidden wildlife camera in Kampinos National Park in Poland. (Source: Kampinoski Park Narodowy)

In Kampinos National Park, near Warsaw, Poland, park employees are seeing signs of the first wolves to settle there since the country wiped out the park’s wolf population in 1964 via a government-sponsored hunt.  The wolf has been on Poland’s list of endangered species since the 1990s, and have resettled some areas; there are currently approximately 1,000 wolves in Poland.

Wolves have been spotted in Kampinos off and on since 2013, but appeared to be just passing through.  Now, however, there appear to be several wolves in the park and they appear to have settled in.  A hidden camera recently snapped a photo of a young male wolf, and another wolf was seen drinking at a watering hole in September.

“We’re really happy,” said Magdalena Kamińska, spokeswoman for Kampinos National Park, Poland’s second largest at 150sq miles (385sq km). “The fact that wolves have returned to our park, from which they completely disappeared in the 1960s, means that nature is in good health and is renewing itself.”

Original article can be read (in Polish) here.

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Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Updates – October 1-31, 2015

Mexican WolvesThe Arizona Game and Fish Department/USFWS has released October 2015 updates for the Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project.  Currently there are approximately 110 Mexican gray wolves in the wild, including 45 wolves with functional radio collars.  These collared wolves are dispersed among 21 packs and two single wolves.  Pup counts are continuing for 2015, but so far the Interagency Field Team (IFT) has counted 43 pups in 11 packs.

In Arizona, wolf f1443 was captured and collared, and M1394 was re-collared.  A diversionary food cache was set up for the Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394) to reduce potential conflicts with livestock.  M1161’s collar has likely failed; he has not been sighted this month.

In New Mexico, F1444 and F923 of the Dark Canyon Pack were collared and re-collared, respectively.  Wolves were collared in the Lava Pack (M1285, F1295), the Prieto Pack (f1392) and the Luna Pack (M1285, F1295, newly collared m1398).  Diversionary food caches were maintained for the Lava Pack.

No wolf mortalities were documented during October, although m1350 in New Mexico was not located during October and is considered “fate unknown”.

There were two livestock depredation reports, one on the FAIR, one near Centerfire Creek in New Mexico.  Both involved cattle who were determined by the IFT to have been killed by wolves.

For the full report, including explanation of the wolf identification/numbering system, click here.  A map of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area is available here, and a map of the 2014 Mexican wolf home ranges is here.

For past updates, click here.

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Alison Franklin Animal Care Center Completed

We can’t believe it!  It’s done!  (Well, the outside, anyway.  Now we get to furnish it!)  A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday, November 12.  Have some video!

Original article available here.

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USFWS Continues Plans for Mexican Wolf Releases in NM

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A Mexican gray wolf at the California Wolf Center. Photo Source: Monty Sloan

Despite opposition from the New Mexico Game and Fish Department and NM governor Susana Martinez, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is continuing plans to release additional Mexican gray wolves into the wilds of southwestern New Mexico in 2016.

Mexican gray wolves have been released into the wild by the USFWS in small numbers since 1998.  New Mexico Game and Fish Department Director Alexandra Sandoval refused in August to issue a permit for the release of further animals, stating that the USFWS did not provide sufficient information concerning the effect of the release on local deer and elk populations, and citing concerns from ranchers about wolf predation on livestock.  The USFWS appealed the decision, but the New Mexico State Game Commission, whose members are appointed by the Republican governor, unanimously rejected the appeal at a meeting on September 29.

After the appeal meeting, Sherry Barrett, Mexican Wolf Coordinator for the USFWS, provided the Albuquerque Journal with a written statement indicating that, while it is USFWS policy to comply with state permit requirements, it retains as an option the release of wolves without New Mexico’s permission.

The USFWS has not yet publicly announced firm plans for an upcoming release, but sent an internal memo about its decision Wednesday to members of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Team.

The original article can be found here.

 

 

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Why Is That Dog Looking At Me?

Image source: Monique Udell

Image source: Monique Udell

Check out some of the fascinating research done at Wolf Park!

Why Is That Dog Looking At Me?

More than one experiment has made some things pretty clear. Dogs look at humans much more than wolves do. Wolves tend to put their nose to the Tupperware [container holding the food treat] and keep at it. This evidence has led to the unsurprising conclusion that dogs are more socially connected to humans and wolves more self-reliant.

Once you get beyond the basics, however, agreement is elusive.

Click on the link above to see how Dr. Monique Udell’s recent research paper, referenced in the article, indicates the differences in how socialized (hand raised) wolves and pet dogs deal with problems they can’t immediately solve on their own (tough-to-open containers of food) while in the presence of humans.  Some of the research was performed at Wolf Park!  Our critters had a lot of fun trying to open her containers (and occasionally peeing on them)….can you recognize the Wolf Park wolf pictured above, who participated in the research?

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