Toll Free



Fall Update on Ingo-1999

Ingo (IO) is doing well and is in good health. Since his arrival, we have had a number of interesting events and one particular troubling event that involved IO and Keeley (KY). KY would regurgitate for IO after every meal - this is a parenting behavior that wolves possess. IO, sensing that he could get KY to deliver warm meals, developed this into a habit. KY lost more than 10 pounds during this period while IO continued to gain. We are glad to report however that since the beginning of November, we have not observed this exchange of food between IO and KY. Since IO arrived at Wolf Timbers (8-8-99), he has enjoyed his puppyhood and the special privileges that come with it. He has been observed causing much annoyance of the adults without being reprimanded. Usually the method he uses to harass his older packmates include biting them on the ear, pouncing on them as they are resting and in chases, he will grab a rear leg of the adults - preventing them from escaping. Observing how a puppy is introduced to the pack, how the pup is treated as it grows and matures and finally, observing the behavior of the wolves as the pup emerges from its "protective alpha pup status" to being treated as an adult is really interesting to observe. From all indications, our pack has now entered the last phase of this triad. This means that IO is now beginning to be reprimanded by the adults and we can observe the beginnings of how the hierarchy may for the time being be settled. IO and NA are usually the first to eat while KY waits. However, KY has been observed lately eating with the other two. Both KY and NA have full "power" to move whenever and wherever they want - social freedom, one of the observable characteristics of high-ranking wolves. IO can no longer consistently take food or objects away from the adults without facing a "grumpy" NA or an intense KY. Please read a segment of my notes below for a description of the above scenario. 11/6/99…NA also wanted to get involved and it appeared that he was also tormenting KY. All of a sudden, KY began to growl and took off after IO. KY did not seem to care at that time about anything else except to get at the pesky mass of wolf fur and really teach him a lesson. At this point, NA sensing that this was "fun" also took part in the chase of the pre-teen wolf. I imagine that if IO were caught, he would face a strict reprimand. After about 7 minutes of the two adults chasing the "firecracker" (IO), they were able to corner him against the fence. Although we could not see what happened next, we surmise, by IO actions later, that he was thoroughly chastised and "put into place" by the alphas. After the high-speed chase was over, the adults freely took drinks of water while the accused stood about 10 feet back, watching. As the adults approached us, IO gingerly made his way to get a cool drink. After interacting with the humans, both NA and KY went to rest. It was then, and only then that IO decided that it might be safe for him to approach us". When I compare IO to NA and KY as puppies, IO seems to be on the whole, better "behaved". This is probably the result of IO watching how NA and KY interact with humans. IO has never really lunged at us, having never observed NA and KY do this to us humans on a regular basis. However, the other day, both NA and KY were "excited" to see their human packmates and lunged more than any other time in the previous ten months. IO then began to lunge as well. It was only after observing the adult's lunge that IO then lunged. IO tests very little and does not explore us with his mouth as much as NA and KY did. IO does take the matter of possessions very seriously. When he is able to secure an object from us, he is more difficult to barter with than NA or KY. I can remember when IO very discreetly took a brush from a volunteer one day. We use the brush to clean out the water containers. IO, after securing this brush, made off with it like a kid at a candy store. He ran to the opposite side of the enclosure, bouncing all the way with his tail going a mile a minute. We usually carry small items in our pockets that we can use to barter with the wolves. These items are trivial for us and in case the wolf decided to eat it, are made of material that will not harm the wolves. After we tried bartering with these items, IO still decided that his possession was worthier than ours was. We then decided to barter with a small piece of deer hide. From the expression on his face, he was saying to us "what - for that - are you kidding?" We were eventually able to repossess this brush after we opened the gate to the holding pen - IO ran right in. We have been working with IO more on giving him an object and then allowing him to chew on it for a few minutes and then we will take it away. We do not do this with food, as food is too powerful of a stimulant. We will allow IO to a few bites on this item, usually a folding knife case, only after he has politely asked to. We then will take this away. This teaches IO that these items are not food and that they do not belong to him. We also will do this with enclosure items: sticks, grass, stones and other such items. We then ask IO to sit and if he does, we will give these items to him. We do not take these items away from him because these items are generally not brought into the enclosure when humans come in. It appears that IO has split the differences of NA and KY as far as how he interacts with humans. He does not show the obvious caution around males, as does KY, yet he is not as ready to meet new people as NA is. As with most wolves, relationships between the wolf and the human need to be nurtured and should contain many more positives for the wolf than the human. For the human, just being close to a wolf is usually enough of a reward. With IO, those sponsors and volunteers that "put in the time" are rewarded with a good relationship with IO. As of October 2, 1999, IO weighed in at 65 pounds. He is up to date on all vaccinations and his coat is very thick. Predictions are that he may be larger than NA, we will see.

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