Party Time!

Saturday brought with it the long-anticipated Puppy Debut Party in which the five pups were given a delightful amount of new and novel items to spark their interest to the enjoyment of the crowd. Of course, an afternoon in June has its disadvantages. Khewa and Niko poked their heads out of the shade, declared the weather to be disgusting, and went back to sleep. Máni took some time to come out and view of the crowd of almost four hundred. Aspen and Sparrow were left to carry the day, which they did with great relish.

They dismembered a hay bale, hunted for apples in the wading pool, played with toys, and finished off their afternoon with their first deer legs. Once they had full bellies, they were prepared to nap the rest of the day away. Fortunately for late visitors, Niko and Khewa finally put in an appearance near the end of the afternoon.

Trainers Ken McCort and Chirag Patel assist the campers with their visit. Photo by Monty Sloan

 

Sunday brought visits with Fiona for both litters. Later, the Twiglets met the children’s camp participants. They kids were great, and the puppies were interested in meeting these smaller humans. We offer Overnight and Day Camps all this month. Older kids might have the opportunity to meet the puppies!

Trainers Chirag Patel and Ken McCort are here this week to work with the puppies. They’ll be working out a training plan to work on minor behavior problems before they become major behavior problems. These will include helping Khewa feel less concerned with people entering the enclosure, and helping everyone adjust to new places and situations.

Niko and Khewa cuddle with Fiona. Photo by Dana Drenzek

We continue to desensitize the pups to all the strange things they’ll encounter in life. This week gave them opportunities to examine a wheel chair and walker. We have guests of all types and we want our wolves to be confident around all of them. They also saw a dog. Sparrow thought it was a new friend and begged the dog to visit them. Máni was worried. Niko and Khewa were unimpressed.

Today the Mountaineers are receiving their vaccinations, after which all the puppies will be available for sponsor visits. We’ve already had a few Sponsor Visits and Photo Shoots with the Twiglets. The puppies have enjoyed the chances to meet new humans and we’re glad to expand their social circles.

 

Upcoming Events
June 24 – Wolf Park After Dark
July 1 – Watermelon Party
July 6 – Tipping Point: Talking Climate Change and Carnivores
July 29 – Wolf Park After Dark

Check out Sponsor Opportunities, Photo Shoots, Seminars and Children’s Camps on our Online Store.

Fiona and the Mountaineers. Photo by Dana Drenzek

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Bunnies are a Pup’s Best Friend

Whose bunny is it anyway? Photo by Caity Judd

The Twiglets are spending more and more time outside. They spent all of Friday in big enclosure closest to the puppy nursery. They were a little unnerved until their puppy parents made them a blanket fort. Using that as ‘home base’, they gradually explored the rest of the enclosure.

On Saturday they were brought to an enclosure on the other side of the park for the first time. They could see the coyotes on one side and Wotan and Wolfgang on the other. They enjoyed the new view and chose a favorite platform to sleep both on and under until it was time to return to the nursery. Back in the nursery, they dragged a dead rabbit onto the bed and all three had a civil meal together.

Bone Tussle. Photo by Karen Davis

They love rabbits. Their skill at tearing into the carcasses improve every day. We sometimes quarter the rabbits so they can each have a piece, but they can also tear open a whole rabbit with growing skill. They are almost completely weaned. Along with rabbit, they’ve started eating deer and chicken.

They had their first sponsor visit and photo shoots will begin tomorrow. The public is so excited to see them!

The Mountaineers have met Sparrow on neutral ground and Sparrow is delighted to have little siblings. She handicaps herself when she wrestles with them, but is quick to squash any ideas Khewa might have about which female is queen of the puppy nursery.

Niko the photo bomber. Photo by Bronwyn Chidzey

Khewa has been more reactive to sounds than the other pups so the Mountaineers are listening to a lot of music and nature sounds. It is helping them adjust to noises. At the time of writing, they are listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. They will be well-prepared for encounters with hobbits and orcs should this come up later in life.

Niko and Khewa enjoy a deer leg. Photo by Bronwyn Chidzey

Cypress and Tauriel. Photo by Caity Judd

Staff Member Caity stopped in at Wolf Mountain Nature Center to see how Cypress and Tauriel (formerly Anya) are developing. The puppies are happy, healthy, and growing fast. They’ll be moving outside soon and will be delighted to have more space. Wolf Mountain will be keeping us up-to-date on their development and we’re so grateful to stay in touch.

 

Upcoming Events
May 29 – Memorial Day – Open 1-5pm for tours
June 3 – Puppy Party!
June 24 – Wolf Park After Dark

Want to Meet the Puppies?
There are still a few slots left in the Puppy Photo Shoots. You can also Sponsor a Puppy and set up a time to meet them. We also have a One Day Seminar and a Three Day Seminar coming soon, which will include visits with the pups. Space is limited. Sign up today!

Máni. Photo by Karen Davis

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There is life outside…

Kelly and Cypress say goodbye. Photo by Scott Allaire

On Sunday we said our goodbyes to two of our pups. Cypress and Anya (now Tauriel) headed off to their new home at Wolf Mountain Nature Center. We’re sad to see them go but we are confident they’ll find good homes in New York.

The now smaller litter of Twiglets are working on being comfortable outside. Although they like playing in the yard, they prefer to go back indoors to sleep. Since they’ll be outdoor wolves when they’re grown, the puppy parents have moved outside with them. All their bedding and favorite toys are in the yard, which is motivating the puppies to spend much more time in the great outdoors.

The pups continue to meet adult wolves Fiona has met both litters although the Mountaineers only met her through the fence since they are still quite small. Timber spent a little time with her puppies but she doesn’t quite seem sure what to make of them.

First time in the big enclosure! Photo by Scott Allaire

The Twiglets’ world continues to expand. They’ve taken their first walks with real leashes and visited their first big wolf enclosure. They liked the extra space for running. They are curious about strangers. They approach the fence when tours go by – when they wake up in the afternoon. They had their first carcass today. It was a rabbit.

Puppies with deer leg. Photo by Scott Allaire

The Mountaineers are starting to hear and respond to sounds. They’re starting to go outside. So far Khewa thinks the outdoors is a little scary, but she likes exploring new places indoors. Niko is very interested in checking out new things.

Stretch! Photo by Scott Allaire

The two litters have met! The puppy parents carry the younger pups into the big pups’ nursery for rounds of mutual sniffing. The big pups are too rambunctious and want to play roughly with the little ones so they haven’t been allowed to wrestle yet. Khewa is finding it easier to explore the outside world when in with the big pups. They run off into the grass she she gallops after, with a concerned puppy parent chasing her for fear the Twiglets will flatten her.

Upcoming Events
May 25 – Tipping Point: Talking Climate Change and Carnivorous
May 27 – Wolf Park After Dark
June 3 – Puppy Party

Want to spend time with the puppies and the other animals? We have a One Day Seminar coming soon, and a Three Day Seminar not long after.

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Puppies vs. Fiona

The Twiglets are having an abundance of new experiences. The biggest is meeting their first adult wolf. Fiona had the pleasure of visiting the pups in the outdoor nursery. At the sight of them, Fiona turned into ‘a big puddle of happy wolf’. (That’s a direct quote.) She rolled over for them and the pups swarmed all over her. Anya tried to dominate her, which Fiona found amusing. She’s met the puppies twice now and is loving it.

The pups are outside a lot more now. They’ve wandered outside during tours a couple times to the delight of the visitors. Máni walked up to the fence and stared at a group of thirty children without looking at all concerned.

Anya with an antler. Photo by Scott Allaire

The indoor enclosure requires frequent changes of bedding since five puppies can be messy! One evening, the puppy parents stripped the room of all the blankets and pillows except a blanket inside the crate and a couple t-shirts which had been tossed into the corner. When they returned from starting the laundry, two of the pups had dragged the remaining cloth items into the middle of the room and made a pile of them. It’s all about redecorating!

Khewa and Niko. Photo by Scott Allaire

In the other nursery, the mountaineers continue to grow. Their eyes are open and they’re walking very well. They’re starting to visit the outdoors but they’re not sure about the wide world yet. Most importantly for their development, they finally have names! The male is now ‘Niko’ in honor of Nikolaas Tinbergen, a Dutch ornithologist and Nobel Prize recipient. The female is ‘Khewa’, a Lakota word meaning ‘Turtle’. The first wolf at Wolf Mountain Nature Center was named ‘Dancing Turtle’ and they requested this name to honor the memory.

The new calves. Photo by Monty Sloan

In the bison field, calf #3 has been born. That might be it for calves this year. The volunteers have named the new calf ‘Stix’ bringing the new bison babies up to the silly assortment of Satchel, Spaghetti and Stix.

The puppy photo seminars are filling up fast so reserve your spot today.

Do you want to know more about climate change? We have a series of talks going on this summer to discuss the issue.

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Fiestas and Frolics

Renki assaults a piñata. Photo by Monty Sloan

On Saturday we celebrated the birthdays of all the animals at Wolf Park in one celebration. Past parties have been celebrated with a variety of cakes and presents. This year we decided to try something different and made all the animals piñatas! This was enriching for the animals who had to figure out how to retrieve their treats from the trees. Some were swift about it – Bicho had his out of the tree before Kanti realized there were treats to be had. Others had more trouble – Renki couldn’t quite leap for his piñata, so he tore out the bottom and let the treats rain down. Twister had the best time. Willow wasn’t interested in the piñatas so he managed two!

Wolfgang is determined! Photo by Monty Sloan 

Special thanks to Payless Grocery for donating a cake for human consumption.

Cypress and DJ. Photo by Scott Allaire

Intrepid Máni explorer. Photo by Scott Allaire

The weather is finally improving and the Twiglets are outside more often. They’re getting to enjoy the outside world. Anya will paw at the door to ask to be let into the yard. Cypress was the first to pass through the cement airlock and into the grassy enclosure. Aspen followed him and didn’t know what to do when he found himself on strange turf. Cypress had no concerns. Now all five pups have decided the great outdoors is great and are happy to play outside whenever the rain and wind lets up long enough for them to make it out the door.

Keeping growing puppies engaged indoors has involved a lot of new novelty devices in the nursery. The pups now have a wading pool filled with branches, a ramp and slide, and lots of toys. Here’s Cypress playing with their favorite – an angry bird.

In the other nursery, the mountain pups have their eyes open. They’re growing steadily and changing every day.

Bronwyn nursing the male mountain pup.

We’ll have big updates on the puppies and their adventures tomorrow so stay tuned!

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Growing Up

DJ and Máni. Photo by Monty Sloan

The Twiglets’ facial markings are starting to emerge. They are developing white and black patches which will soon grow more distinct. Cypress looks as though he’ll have very striking markings.

Anya contemplates the great outdoors. Photo by Bronwyn Chidzey

Energy levels and coordination continue to improve. The pups play A LOT. They’ve started to run ‘zoomies’ around the nursery in their enthusiasm. They eagerly climb on their human visitors and chew on everything. Right now it’s cute, but we’re trying not to encourage behaviors which won’t be cute when they’re large.

The weather continues to be cold and rainy so the puppies have had few chances to go outside. Today, Máni, Anya and Aspen went out during a break in the weather. Everyone is doing better outdoors but we’ll need warmth and sun before the puppies really want to explore.

The pups take daily car rides and they’re doing great. They ride in the backseat while their parents drive them to the coyote enclosure and back. The pups mostly sleep. Soon they’ll have the option of climbing in and out of the crate while they travel.

Sparrow nurses on a finger. Photo by Monty Sloan

The Mountaineers. Photo by Scott Allaire

The Mountain Pups are thirteen days old and still at the ‘slug stage’ of development. They eat, sleep and crawl a little. It took a day for them to catch up from the long car ride and get comfortable with their surroundings. They seek out a lot of cuddling opportunities.

The girl pup is eating a ton. She needs to have the bottle taken away or else she’ll just keep drinking. The boy is noisy while nursing.

The pups are much larger than the Twiglets at this age. It will be fascinating to watch the litters grow together.


Meanwhile, Monty got some photos of the youngest members of the bison herd.
 

Would you like to photograph the puppies? Sign up for a Puppy Photo Shoot in June. Space is extremely limited so hurry and reserve your slot.

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Special Delivery

The Wolf Mountain puppies. Photo by Karen Davis.

Dyani and Sequoyah, parents of the new pups. Photo courtesy Wolf Mountain

Surprise! And you thought five puppies was a large litter. Now we have seven! What’s going on? The wonderful people at Wolf Mountain Nature Center have donated two pups to us. Their wolves, Sequoyah and Dyani, produced a small litter which has been brought to Wolf Park where they will live their lives. Hopefully, in a few years’ time, they’ll fall madly in love with our wolves and the circle of life will continue. In a few weeks, two of our pups will move to Wolf Mountain to provide them with new blood as well. In the meantime, we have seven puppies!

The ‘Mountaineer’ litter consists of a boy and a girl. The boy is black and the girl is lighter grey than the ‘Twiglets’. They are eleven days old. They weigh a few more ounces than the Twiglets at this age and are a little further along in their development. Their ears are already standing up and their molars are coming in. The male has begun to crawl and is responding to sounds. Both have been given a clean bill of health, switched to the bottle just fine, and handled a long car ride like champs.

They are living in the second puppy nursery where they will stay until they have gained enough weight to hold their own against the Twiglets.

Cypress, Anya and Sparrow. Photo by Scott Allaire

Meanwhile… the Twiglets are turning into real wolves a little more every day. They are demonstrating play behaviors like play bows and mouse pounces. They are attempting to walk ‘balance beams’ along human legs and the narrow window ledge by the floor. They wrestle frequently with each other. Sparrow often ends up sitting on Aspen. They are still adorably uncoordinated but vision and moving skills improve daily.

Bronwyn training two pups

The weather’s been cold and rainy. The pups have had daily access to the outside world but they’re not taking much advantage of it. Their parents will sometimes carry them outside and let the puppies walk indoors. Cypress sleeps less than the others so he’s received extra outdoor adventures with his parents while his siblings doze.

They’ve had their first taste of ground meat and they love it! They swarm their parents for meat. The meat’s been used to begin their training. They’ll sit and offer other behaviors for a taste of their new favorite food. They’re still on the bottle, and will be for a while yet, but weaning has begun.

Cypress, Anya and Sparrow. Photo by Scott Allaire

The new calves. Photo by Kimber Hendrix

Also… we have more new babies to welcome into the family! Our bison cows have dropped two calves already and there may be a third on the way. The volunteers have named the calves Spaghetti and Satchel, because we believe in silly names where the bison are concerned. The cows are taking very good care of the new additions. Staff member Caity saw one of the other cows doing baby-sitting duty for Spaghetti while Mom was off grazing. When a dog trotted past the pasture, the calf was quickly escorted back to its mother and the two youngest bison, Louise and Muskogee, advanced on the dog until it was past the pasture the calves were out of ‘danger’.

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Puppies Day 23: Singing in the Rain

The puppies have progressed to being on the same nap and feeding schedule. Rather than awakening one by one, they now all awaken at the same time, demand food, wrestle with each other, then fall back asleep. They’re awake for longer stretches, but also sleep for longer stretches.

Anya outdoors. Photo by Scott Allaire

The puppies had their first opportunity to explore the outside world. The door to the outside kennel was propped open for several hours to give the pups their first experience with the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. A few pups put their paws out of the room, but it was a cold and rainy day so no one wanted to go very far.

Aspen is now the largest pup and has been nicknamed ‘Little Bear’. He’d a chunky, amiable puppy. He frequently gets bounced upon by his siblings while he sleeps but takes the assault with little but muttered protests.

Cypress remains the independent puppy. He sleeps by himself and takes longer to warm up to strangers. He initiates a lot of the wrestling games.

Cypress with ball. Photo by Scott Allaire

Máni was the health concern for a few days after someone heard him cough, but he seems fine most of the time. He’s a lively soul who is quick to explore new things. After eating, he’ll take a run around the nursery, pounce on Aspen, then fall asleep.

Anya is the explorer. She was one of the first to put her paws out the door. She comes straight up to new people to sniff them. She’s a noisy sleeper. She howls and growls in her sleep more than the others.

Sparrow with turtle. Photo by Scott Allaire

Sparrow remains the charmer. She has no fear of new people and gleefully scales new heights.

The puppies are receiving a huge quantity of new experiences. They’ve visited the second puppy nursery. They’ve been carried around the building and outside. They explored the surgery room. They have all had their first taste of solid food. They love their toys and are especially interested in the wolf hair which had been brought in to help them get used to the scent of strange wolves.

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Where’d You Get Those Peepers?

Anya with a bottle. Photo by Scott Allaire

As of Monday, every puppy has opened their eyes! Anya was first to see the world. Aspen took the longest. Despite their eyes being open, vision is still forthcoming. The puppies can see a few inches in front of their muzzles thus far.

They are exploring the world by scent, and they are doing plenty of exploring. The parents are bringing in a huge variety of scents and textures for discovery. This includes wolf, dog and fox fur, grass, straw, pine cones and more. While typing this, Sparrow encountered the scent of fox urine for the first time. She was cautious about closely sniffing something so new and different.

They are also starting to hear. They are very aware of vibrations. Their ears are beginning to stand upright. We are being very quiet entering and exiting the building so as not to awaken sleeping puppies.

Intern Dariyenn with the pups. Photo by Scott Allaire

Mobility improves every day. They still drag their bellies when they walk, but they walk more than they crawl. They like to be up high. They scale pillows, feet and anything else in the nursery. Sparrow has made it to two human shoulders.

On day sixteen their teeth began to emerge. They all have their incisors. They are mouthing a great deal. They are making use of their chew toys. They are starting to grab and head-shake the toys. They grow up so fast!

They still sleep most of the day. Anya likes to sleep on human faces. Cypress still prefers to sleep separate from the humans and pups. Sparrow fell asleep in a sweatshirt pocket.

Their next big adventure will be a brand new room when they are allowed to explore the second puppy nursery. Expanding horizons and expanding minds.

Park Manager Dana feeding a pup. Photo by Scott Allaire

Upcoming Events
May 6 – Birthday Party: See the Wolf Park animals receive their birthday Piñatas.
May 27 – Wolf Park After Hours: Stay until 11pm and see the animals at their favorite time of day.
June 3 –Puppy Party! All things puppies. Learn about how we raise our pups, see video of their growth, and maybe see the pups outside exploring the world.

Boy puppy napping. Photo by Scott Allaire

Want to Sponsor a Puppy? We don’t know which pups will be staying at Wolf Park past the summer yet, but we know at least one boy and girl will be remaining with us forever. For now, you can sponsor a boy pup or a girl pup and we’ll keep you updated on how all the pups grow this summer until we choose who will remain. Remember: This month your sponsorships and memberships are good for sixteen months instead of twelve!

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What’s in a Name?

The girls. Photo by Scott Allaire

The girls. Photo by Scott Allaire

The votes are tallied at last! The voting was fierce and people had STRONG feelings about the names they liked, and the names they didn’t. But at long last we can introduce you to Timber’s first litter.

THE BOYS

Cypress. Photo by Scott Allaire

CYPRESS is the biggest puppy of the litter. He likes his alone time. He rarely sleeps with the others. His eyes are open and he is starting to walk.

Aspen. Photo by Scott Allaire

ASPEN is the pudgy puppy of the group. He might not be the quickest pup, but he’s a cute little cuddler.

Mani. Photo by Scott Allaire

MANI took the longest to figure out the formula and worried his puppy parents but he’s doing great now. He can eat with all four paws on the floor.

THE GIRLS

Anya. Photo by Scott Allaire

ANYA is the bigger of the females. She was the first to open her eyes. She’s doing a lot of mouthing already and her parents say she’s a little firecracker.

Sparrow. Photo by Scott Allaire

Sparrow. Photo by Scott Allaire

SPARROW is the runt of the litter and the angel-puppy. She feeds with all four paws on the floor and is very well-mannered. She’s a singer with plenty to say. Her eyes have opened.

Sparrow. Photo by Scott Allaire

The pups are growing rapidly. They are walking better, exploring more, and very curious. They are exploring more by scent. They snuffle the ground when they walk and find their parents by scent. Some are beginning to see. Their ears are still closed but they’re getting closer to being able to hear. They are reacting to vibrations and showing some awareness of sound.

Their training regime right now includes getting used to crates in case they ever need to be taken to the vet or on car trips. They are also getting used to collars. Leash walking is hard for wolves since they are not fans of restraints or being told ‘no’. We teach them leash walking can be fun because they always get to go somewhere new and different on walks. Step one is getting used to a strange thing around the neck. The pups wear paper collars for short stretches of the day. It makes for easier identification and helps acclimate them to the feel.

We are so thrilled to see how the pups’ grow and explore their world. Every day is a new adventure and we are so lucky to be part of helping them discover it all.

Upcoming Events

May 6 – Birthday Party: See the Wolf Park animals receive their birthday Piñatas.
May 27 – Wolf Park After Hours: Stay until 11pm and see the animals at their favorite time of day.
June 3 –Puppy Party! All things puppies. Learn about how we raise our pups, see video of their growth, and maybe see the pups outside exploring the world.

Want to Sponsor a Puppy? We don’t know which pups will be staying at Wolf Park past the summer yet, but we know at least one boy and girl will be remaining with us forever. For now, you can sponsor a boy pup or a girl pup and we’ll keep you updated on how all the pups grow this summer until we choose who will remain. Remember: This month your sponsorships and memberships are good for sixteen months instead of twelve!

Anya. Photo by Scott Allaire

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