Thursday, November 4, 2010
Checking Up on Our Wolves
Autumn at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY means there are leaves changing colors, smoke curling from our classroom's chimney, and SSP wolves demonstrating their best evasive maneuvers as they once more try to avoid their annual medical check-ups. Yesterday it was the turn of our own "super pack" of 15 Mexican gray wolves, a critically endangered sub-species that only has about 40 wolves living in the wild.
Taking care not to let the wolves overheat as temperatures climbed out of the 30s, we only took a brief(!) 7.5 hours to process all of the wolves, who were doing their best to live up to their 'elusive' reputations. The process sadly revealed that some of us may have to hit the gym soon, but the wolves (a mother and two generations of offspring) all seemed quite healthy. After receiving vaccination boosters and having blood taken for testing, the lobos were released back into their enclosure to figure out even better strategies for prolonging the next capture. Thanks to all the volunteers who participated, especially veterinarian Paul Maus, who generously donated his time, expertise, and good natured demeanor!
Dr. Maus and Chuck Dyckman release one of the lobos after a check-up:
Spencer attempts to negotiate with the wolves:
Catch me if you can!
Leftover Halloween candy proved effective in luring volunteers: