Puppies Day 12: These Paws Were Made for Walking

What a difference a day can make! When pulled from the den, the pups were only crawling. By the next day they were attempting to stand. They would gather their legs under their bellies, rise, and then tumble over. And by the next day they were walking! They still mostly crawl, but they are exploring more and more of their world. Puppy #3 climbed off the blankets onto the padded floor and walked a short loop. Puppy #5 crawled up puppy parent Scott’s pants leg.

Asleep mid-stride. Photo by Haley Gorenflo

Everyone still sleeps a great deal, but they don’t stay still even in sleep. They are dreaming a lot. They growl, howl and twitch in their sleep. What do newborn puppies dream about? They still fall asleep whenever they happen to be. Puppy #3 fell asleep nursing on staff member Dana’s finger. He’s the biggest eater of the litter.

 

What should we name them? VOTE HERE!

Want to help the puppies develop? Check out our AMAZON WISHLIST

Don’t forget tonight’s Cookout Howl Night!

Posted in Wolf Park Updates | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Puppies Day 10: A Little Song and Dance

Puppy #2. Photo by Scott Allaire

The puppies spent their first day in the nursery meeting and bonding with their human parents and exploring their new world. Upon arrival, the pups were weighed and checked over. The veterinarian came by and gave ‘The Twiglets’ a clean bill of health.

For the moment, the puppies have been given the creative names of #1 – #5. #2 and #5 are girls. Personalities and distinctions are already beginning to emerge.

#1 is the biggest of the group. He is independent and sleeps more often by himself rather than the group.

#2 is the largest girl and a cuddler.

#3 likes sleeping on faces (both human and puppy). He was the first to begin nursing after sucking on a parent’s chin.

#4 is a spelunker. He likes to burrow beneath the blankets. He was the last to start nursing but is now eating fine.

#5 is the runt of the litter and the noisy one. She’s been nicknamed ‘the singer’ for now.

Three puppies have begun howling. They don’t hear terribly well at this age but they are starting to hear and respond to howls. Puppies #1 and #3 howled along with their parents the first night. They also already recognize their human parents opposed to strangers.

Photo by Monty Sloan

 

What should we name them? VOTE HERE!

Want to help the puppies develop? Check out our AMAZON WISHLIST

The pups were on TV!

The local newspaper did a great story on them too!

Posted in Wolf Park Updates | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Puppies Have Arrived!

Our five new puppies!

On April 18 at 10:30am, the Wolf Park family got their first look at the newest additions to the Park. Five healthy puppies were welcomed into the new Animal Care Center where they will spend the next few months of their lives. These are the first litter of pups born here since 2012 and we are so excited to bring them into the family.

There are three boys and two girls all weighing between 1.9 and 2.8 lb. They are all grey. Coloration will change as they grow. One is quite vocal. All are healthy and calm.

At this age, they are still blind and deaf to the world. They will sleep and eat a great deal at first. Over the next few weeks their senses will develop and they will begin to explore the world. Their human parents will be on hand to take care of them and help them learn about the wide world. During their lives they’ll provide visitors with a chance to see and better understand the wolves who share our world.

We are excited to be able to share their development with you! Keep checking back for regular updates as the puppies thrive and explore.

The puppies will not be available for viewing for a few weeks until they are able to go outside. We will have video footage of puppies playing for visitors to see until they can view them live.

What should we name them? VOTE HERE!

Want to help the puppies develop? Check out our AMAZON WISHLIST

Posted in Wolf Park Updates, Wolves | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Announcing Puppies!

Saturday afternoon, April 8, Timber began spending long stretches in her den on the island in the main enclosure. During Howl Night, the staff rowed to the island to check on her and confirmed Timber was in labor. Sometime later, the waiting group was rewarded with the cries of newborn puppies. Park manager, Dana, entered the den and shot a brief camera video of Timber in which the puppies’ squeaks could be heard. She was not able to see any puppies.


Timber was willing to have the staff visit on Sunday, but by Monday she’d made it clear she wanted to be alone with her pups. She received a long visit from Wotan on Tuesday. She was happy to see him and took a brief break from puppy care, then returned to the babies.

We can confirm there are at least two puppies but we won’t know anything more until the pups are removed for hand-raising. Stay tuned for updates!

Timber in the den. Photo by Dana Drenzek

Frequent Questions

Who is the father?
Either Wotan or Wolfgang, or possibly both! They both mated with her within the same window of time. We won’t know for sure unless we do DNA tests.

The pups are crying in the video. Is Timber squishing them?
Newborn wolves are very loud. We could hear them from outside the den. They even squeak while they nurse. Some of those noises are happy sounds, despite sounding like crying. Timber knows what she is doing and won’t crush her babies.

When can we see the puppies?
Once the pups are given over to their human parents, they will be kept inside the Animal Care Center for the first few weeks. This is when pups are normally in the den so they aren’t yet prepared to handle the outside world. This is the time they are most likely to get sick, so we will limit visitors until they are older. At six weeks, the pups will begin exploring their outside enclosure, at which point they will sometimes be available for viewing.

Why do you take them away from their mother?
Wolf pups left with their parents will not view humans as part of their social circle. They will grow up fearful of humans and often stressed in a captive situation. Since our wolves live surrounded by humans and wolves, we want them to be calm and comfortable with both species. Their human parents will raise them for their first three months. They will be given many opportunities to visit their parents and the Park’s other wolves. Once they are comfortably bonded with both species, they will be returned to their parents.

Will you keep all the puppies?
That will depend on how many pups Timber has and what homes are available. We are very particular which facilities become our pups’ forever homes. Certainly some of Timber’s pups will stay with us their entire lives.

Are the puppies safe at Wolf Park? A lot of people don’t like wolves.
Wolf Park is a sanctuary. The wolves are protected here. We have good relationships with our neighbors. Remember, we are in Indiana. Wolves have been extinct in the wild here for a long time. People in this area don’t have strong negative feelings about wolves.

How many are in the litter? What are their genders? What will you name them?
Answers to these queries will have to wait until we see the pups. Stay tuned for more information!

Want to help? Check out our wish list on our WEBSITE or on AMAZON. We are in need of everything from newspapers to a futon mattress. Or donate to TEAM PUPPY in our annual fundraiser.

Posted in Wolf Park Updates, Wolves | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Pigs and Pregnancies

Scrabble learns weave poles

Wolf Park isn’t just about wolves. We believe in responsible care and respect for every species. This past weekend, a group of trainers had their chance to experiment and get to know many unique animals.

Welcome to ‘Fantastic Beasts and how to Train Them’ where trainers from all ages and backgrounds practiced their skills with guinea pigs, foxes and coyotes. Working one-on-one with the smaller animals, and through the fence with the bigger ones, seminar participants built relationships and trained behaviors.

Mancala runs a series of obstacles

Training is all about trust. Getting to know the guinea pigs and assuring them that humans were not cavy-eating monsters was step one. Our guinea pig subjects were brought to us from Dr. Julia Becker’s guinea pig rescue and came from a combination of good and bad homes. By the end of day one, even the most human-wary had learned trainers were delightful food dispensers.

What does one do with trained guinea pigs? Agility of course! Guinea pigs can be trained on a-frames, weave poles, jumps, tunnels, stationing and more. Our pigs learned a great deal in a short time and we hope their time socializing with us will help them get adopted. Several have already found forever homes!

Timber in a family way

Timber Updates
Timber is fattening up nicely and we’re expecting puppies very soon! She’s moved into the main enclosure where she will stay while the pups are young. She is working on her den out on the island.

Wotan is visiting regularly to assist with puppy preparations. He is concerned Timber isn’t eating enough and spends his time digging up food and bringing it to her. He’s tried regurgitation too. He even regurgitated for his brother. Timber ignored him. Wolfgang rolled in it.

For humans to visit the puppies on the island requires a boat. The staff pulled out the boat to see if it was ship-shape for its sea voyage. Timber tore the covers off the seats and gleefully rolled on them.

Upcoming Events
April 8 – Easter Party 1-5pm
April 22 – 23 – 45th Anniversary Weekend
May 6 – The Animals’ Birthday Party 1-5pm

Posted in Wolf Park Programs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Adventure of the Plush Cthulhu

d117213d4485ca0f56d8c40b41285320Once upon a time, I was a child, and I read fantastic tales of the secret lives of stuffed animals.  There are many such tales in THE LITERATURE, that repository of news, history, research, rumor, wonder tales, and drollery, as well as RECEIVED WISDOM FROM THE ANCIENT AND RESPECTED ELDERS.  Usually these stories consist of tales of derring-do, facing one’s fears, and altruistic deeds (see THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, for example).   There are also blood curdling tales, the stuff of nightmares.  One such tale whispers of Cthulhu, an immensely powerful, dead (or undead, or possibly unalive) entity from beyond the stars.  Cthulhu is said to be ageless (does this go with being dead?), indestructible, and to have a house in R’lyeh where he lies dreaming, when not driving hordes of hapless victims to gibbering madness and self-destruction.  These tales can be discovered in various portions of L-Space.*

plush-cthulhuThen, wandering around the internet, I came across a tale of plush Cthulhu.  As I read it (warning: it is profusely illustrated), my hair made a herculean effort and, bursting open its barrette, each particular hair stood on end, reaching straight up to the ceiling.  Dread Cthulhu is able to take on a disturbingly cute plushy form! It can invade stuffed animal land!  A dangerous and rare specimen!  I had to have one!  What could possibly go wrong?? Under the influence of this horror story, I procured a plush Cthulhu of my very own.  Usually the squishy-soft Sleeper of R’lyeh dangles from my bookshelf, in a state of somnolence, or perhaps suspended animation.  Lest hunger pangs awaken it, I occasionally sacrifice small stuffed animals – it was slowly savoring and absorbing a grippy koala as recently as last week.

Then, this morning, arriving early at the park for wolf watch with participants in the Fantastic Beasts and How To Train Them Seminar, I got a frantic call from Kimber.  Normally Kimber would be out of town on weekends at this time of year.  It is tax season, when she lives a double life: a dedicated fox curator during the week, but morphing into a superhero on the weekend, helping law-abiding citizens keep at bay the descendants of Erik the Awful, who work as special agents for the Destroying Angel Repossession Company (a.k.a. the I. R. S.).   This weekend, though, she was here helping with the seminar.

Her call sent ice through the marrow of my bones.   Though I could have sworn I left my office door securely latched last night, somehow Plush Cthulhu had wakened and gotten out.  Worse, so had Gypsum.  They were facing off in the Fox Garden.  Neither of them was likely to back down, since they are much of a size.  Tentacles abristle, Dread Plush Cthulhu spread his wings in the wan and sickly morning sun.  His pale shadow was vaster than it should be.  (Kimber estimated the shadow’s wingspan was a good 24 inches wide.)  But Gypsum, at whose approach wolves (or at least Kanti) panic and flee, was undaunted.  His tail ploofed into a mighty plume, and, with eyes aflame, Gypsum whiffled through the tulgey garden, disdaining to burble as he came.  The two rushed upon each other and Gypsum’s teeth went snicker-snack as he seized the eldritch horror from beyond the stars and rent it asunder.  He left Cthulhu dead (possibly – further confirmation is required) and with its head he responded to Kimber’s calls, and went galumphing back into the airlock of the fox habitat.  He carried the head around and around, no doubt looking for a battlement to set it on, as a trophy display.  Kimber watched for the right moment and, distracting him with a road killed squirrel, purloined the loathsome, fluffy head of Cthulhu.  (It has button eyes which may not be safely swallowed by small children or animals – parents and zookeepers beware!)

Gypsum LicksThe rest of the day was frabjous.  Kimber and the Interns danced and sang Callooh! Callay! as they set about cleaning up the spilled ichor that sprayed and spurted from defeated Cthulhu when Gypsum unseamed him from nave to chaps.  Gypsum spent the rest of the day looking beamish, and basking, with a squirrel bulge in his belly.  He could not be bothered to get up and do training or threaten any wolves out for a stroll on the Loup Trail.

In the end we cannot say whether dread Cthulhu is undeniably and reliably dead, or indestructible, or capable of being permanently de-constructed, as when ripped asunder by our redoubtable Gypsum, but one thing is certain:  Even if he can’t be killed, dread plush Cthulhu can be put to grave inconvenience!

(Dread Cthulhu promises to resume Sleeping-in-R’lyeh services shortly.  In the meantime, please enjoy this retelling of The Call of Cthulhu, written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss.)

fursuit_cthulhu_by_ursulav


* L-space, short for library-space, is the ultimate portrayal of Pratchett’s concept that the written word has powerful magical properties on the Discworld, and that in large quantities all books warp space and time around them. The principle of L-space revolves around a seemingly logical equation; it is an extension of the ‘Knowledge is Power’:

Books = Knowledge = Power = (Force x Distance^2) ÷ Time.

Large quantities of magical and mundane books create portals into L-space that can be accessed using innate powers of librarianship that are taught by the Librarians of Time and Space to those deemed worthy across the multiverse. Because libraries with enough books to open a portal are often large and sprawling, those venturing into L-space may not necessarily know that they have arrived. The floor and ceiling of L-space follow the floor and ceiling of the library used to access it; the best example of this is that the central dome of Unseen University‘s library is “always overhead” (Guards! Guards! – all quotes in this article come from this book). In every direction and as far as the eye can see bookshelves stretch off, meaning the nature of any walls are unknown.

Librarian ReadingAlternatively, it can be said that L-space manifests in our world in those obscure, hidden bookstores that, logic and the laws of physics insist, cannot possibly be as large on the outside as they appear on the inside. Somehow, after scraping one’s shoulders against the improbably small door, one finds one’s self turning one unseen corner after another, seemingly going on forever into further and more obscure sections as yet unobserved by human eyes. The town of Hay-on-Wye, known for having more bookshops per square mile than anywhere else in the world, contains many examples of this, and may be a substantial access point to L-space. Essentially, all bookstores are potentially infinite in extent; gateways into literary hyperspace: “[a] good bookshop is just a genteel black hole that knows how to read.”

Because L-space links every library, it is possible to reach any one of these throughout space, time and the multiverse. This means that there are potentially other forms of data storage other than books as it represents every library anywhere. Additionally, one can read any book ever written, any book that will be written at some point and books that were planned for writing that were not, as well as any book that could possibly be written. The first Reader in Invisible Writings was Ponder Stibbons, whose job it was to get Hex to trawl virtually through L-space (which involved a huge amount of simultaneous spell-casting, beyond the ability of any human wizard) looking for fragments of these possible books.

Citation: http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/L-space  (Note: the usual caveats, about not ending your search for knowledge with the various wiki databases, but going on to search out the original manuscripts on which they base their changing and repeatedly edited publications. If there is any chance you will wander into L-Space during your search, it is well to carry a pack containing (but not limited to) some trail mix, a bottle of water, fresh socks, matches, a canoe paddle, and perhaps a transformer tool.  Be sure  you know where your towel is.  Keep calm and carry on, or, for any wolves, foxes, and coyotes reading this article, keep calm and carrion.

keep-calm-and-cthulhu-fhtagn-30

With apologies to William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, H. P. Lovecraft, and Sir Terry Pratchett**, and a tip of the hat to Frank Baum, Ray Stevens, and Douglas Adams**.

**Whom we hope would all be mildly tickled.

Posted in Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the 45th Anniversary Speakers

The 45th Anniversary Fundraiser Weekend is coming soon! April 22 and 23 are shaping up to be amazing days. We are delighted with the response we’ve gotten on our requests for donations and speakers. We have some incredible people lined up to talk wolves, dogs and Wolf Park’s history. Who will you see at Wolf Park this weekend? Check them out.neimeyer

Carter Niemeyer is a retired Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service in Idaho. He assisted with the restoration of the grey wolf to the Northern Rockies region of the United States. He is the author of ‘Wolfer‘ and ‘Wolf Land’. Niemeyer will be speaking on Saturday afternoon and is our key-note speaker for the evening dinner.

burghardtGordon Burghardt is a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee with a special interest in Comparative Behavior and Ethology. He is the author of ‘The Genesis of Animal Play: Testing the Limits’. Burghardt was a friend and colleague of Park founder, Erich Klinghammer. Burghardt will be speaking Saturday morning.

 

mccort

Ken McCort is the owner of ‘Four Paws’ training center in Doylestown, Ohio. He has been training animals full-time since 1986. He has done training seminars around the world and is very popular in Japan. McCort has been training with Wolf Park’s animals for decades and has hosting many interactive seminars here. McCort will be speaking on Sunday and demonstrating his training techniques with the coyotes.

beck

Alan Beck is a Comparative Pathobiology professor and Director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University in Indiana. He is the author of numerous research articles. Beck will be speaking Saturday afternoon.

 

wydeven

Adrian Wydeven is the coordinator of the Timber Wolf Alliance, a retired wildlife biologist for the Wisconsin DNR and the coauthor of ‘Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Great Lakes Region of the United States: An Endangered Species Success Story’. Wydeven will be conducting two different talks on Saturday and Sunday.

Check out our Schedule of Events page for speaking engagement times and more exciting activities! We’re still adding things as more people and performers confirm their interest so keep checking back. We can’t wait to see all of you there!

Animal Updates
Timber is looking very round! We still have a few weeks before we can expect to see puppies but we’re watching 17619276_10154445317642514_575188154_nclosely. During the last photo seminar, Wotan went into ‘daddy-mode’ and began bringing her food. Whether or not he’s the father, he’s playing the part of good provider. We’ll continue to post as we get closer to the big day!

Meanwhile, Scarlette is preparing for her own kits. She isn’t pregnant, but animals will often go through a ‘false-pregnancy’ at this time of year in which they will prepare for babies, even if they never arrive. Scarlette is hard at work on her den. Joker has been helpfully feeding her anything she might want, even when she’d rather sleep.

Upcoming Events
April 8: Easter Party: Help us hide eggs for wolf treats, then enjoy egg hunts for the kids. Festivities begin at 2pm. Kids are free today!
April 20 – 23: Our big fundraiser weekend and 45th Anniversary! Join us and help support Wolf Park’s 45th Season.
May 6: Happy Birthday Animals of Wolf Park! This year, all the animals will receive… Piñatas! Donate HERE to receive a picture of a wolf with their treat.

 

Posted in Wolf Park Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Construction

Spring has come early at Wolf Park. The wolves are barely finishing breeding season, but the staff is already sporting t-shirts. This being Indiana, winter might be on its way back again, but we’re using the break to get the spring projects moving.

Thanks to the generous donations of many people, the recovery pen/puppy nursery is being erected. Connected to the Animal Care Center kennels, this enclosure will offer a safe outdoor space for animals recovering from surgery. This will also be the first outdoor home for any puppies at Wolf Park. Visitors will be able to view the pups, and they’ll be able to move freely between the indoors and outdoors to receive both privacy and exercise.

IMG_7090 IMG_7118

People keep asking if we’re expecting puppies this year. The answer is… we don’t know. It’ll be a few more weeks before we can assess if Timber is pregnant, and even then, many things can happen between now and spring. We’re hoping and we’ll be all ready for them if/when they arrive!

However, we’re getting ready for a different assortment of puppies. Volunteer Jennifer Yeandle is hard at work constructing a den and landscape for the new diorama in the Education Building. Several years ago, we were donated a taxidermy wolf and fox for educational purposes. We’re excited to soon have a proper display for them.

16808653_10212202118308603_129909119_n 16830188_10212202117748589_1614776364_n

Coming Events

Dollar Day is coming soon! Admission to Wolf Park will be just $1.00 on March 4th, 1-4pm. We’ll be spreading the word about all the programs we have planned for the year, showing off the puppy enclosure, and offering all sorts of $1.00 drawings, items and events. Come join us!

Don’t forget to register for our Anniversary Weekend, April 22-23! We have so much planned and so many amazing guests coming. We can’t wait to see you there.

Wolves in the World

Here’s a website about what’s happening with wolves in Greenland.

Here’s a group making a documentary about wolf hybrids and soldiers recovering together from PTSD.

Posted in Wolf Park Updates | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wolf Park Turns Forty Five!

Dr. Erich Klinghammer and wolves, 1982

Dr. Erich Klinghammer and wolves, 1982

Wolf Park has reached an incredible milestone! Forty five years ago, a Purdue professor was inspired to expand his knowledge of a little-understood species by bringing two wolves into his life. From there, the pack and facility has grown from its small beginnings into an organization dedicated to improving the lives of wolves in captivity and in the wild through research and education.

Dr. Erich Klinghammer began with a desire to understand wolf behavior and communication. He was able to observe his wolves throughout multiple generations of forming packs, breeding, raising offspring and hunting. Gradually the park has expanded to include other species such as bison, coyotes and foxes.

Research was the original focus of Wolf Park and we continue to assist researchers from around the globe with their studies but our focus has turned more toward education. We are proud of the work we do in providing seminars, children’s camps and education programs for public and private groups.

45th logoWe are celebrating our incredible milestone with a four-day event April 20-23. Join us Saturday April 22nd for the main event as we celebrate 45 years of Wolf Park with a slew of activities. This will also be the date of our annual fundraiser. That’s right, we’re moving Walk for Wolves to the spring this year and changing up the format! Join one of five teams and compete with other teams to earn money for a variety of projects around the park. Which team will raise the most donations? Join us and find out!

Schedule of Events

Thursday – Open 1-4pm for tours and talk.
Friday – Open 1-4pm for tours and talk and open 6-9pm for a special Cookout Howl Night
Saturday – The big fundraiser day! Compete with other teams, see the park, bid in a live auction and listen to amazing speakers from around the country. Then join us Saturday evening for a formal dinner at the Lafayette Fowler House.
Sunday – A day of fun at Wolf Park with competitions, special guest speakers and more!

To learn more visit our main webpage or sign up for the weekend through our online store.

We hope to see every one of you there!

 

Posted in Wolf Park Events | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seasons Greetings From Wolf Park

Renki with his Christmas Present

Photo by Danielle Lassonde

Ice storms derailed the park’s annual holiday party, leaving the animals without their presents. Santa had to turn his sleigh around, but fortunately the interns were there to play the part of elves! On Christmas Eve, interns Khaz and Danielle converted the animals’ presents into complicated puzzle boxes and gave the canids the gift of entertainment.

The animals are used to getting cardboard boxes with odds and ends hidden inside. They all have their methods of figuring out how to dismember the box and retrieve the treats. Bicho and Kanti destroyed theirs and consumed the contents so fast they probably didn’t taste them. Timber, meanwhile, tugged apart her box very slowly and ended up caching (burying) the box – treats and all. Wotan and Wolfgang were frightened by the wrapping paper and circled their boxes for a long time before Wotan finally plucked up the courage to claim the goodies.

Timber with Burger

Photo by Monty Sloan

On Christmas Day, the wolves received a second treat. Wolf handlers, Pat and Monty, bought burgers for everyone. Hamburgers are not part of the wolves’ normal diet, but it’s the holidays so everyone gets to cheat a little. Fiona was the extra lucky wolf that day. The staff had accidentally ordered an extra burger. The main pack was last to be fed. Fiona managed to seize the bag with the extra hamburger and ran off for a feast while Bicho and Kanti scarfed down their burgers – wrappers and all.

Thanks to some unseasonably warm weather, the park roads have thawed and it is safe to walk and drive here again. Although we won’t be open until after the New Year, we are happy we can safely welcome visitors again, and walk the wolves without falling over.

Gypsum with present

Photo by Khaz Brooks

Upcoming Events
December 31 – Closed for New Years Eve
January 14 – Winter Wolves, 1-4pm
February 11 – Winter Wolves II – 1-4pm

New in our Online Store
The winter season is upon us and we have outer layers to keep you warm. Our sweatshirts feature paw prints on the front and a picture of Fiona on the back. Shirts come in sweatshirt, hoodie and zippered-hoodie variety.fisweatshirt2

Posted in Wolf Park Events | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment