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.
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!
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.
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.