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.
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.
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.
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’.