Autumn is a magical time at the Wolf Conservation Center. Colorful leaves are dancing in the breeze, cider is brewing in our cozy classroom cabin, and critically endangered wolves are shaking in their boots dreading the day humans set foot in their remote territories. WCC staff and volunteers rarely disturb our thirteen Mexican gray wolves and five red wolves, but when autumn rolls around, we get up close and personal with these most elusive animals for the wolves' annual medical exams. Yesterday was the first of three "check-up capture days" scheduled this season.
WCC's extraordinary volunteer veterinarian Paul Maus DVM joined WCC staff, volunteers, and WCC founder Hélène Grimaud early Tuesday morning to meet the challenge of catching five elusive red wolves. In order to administer vaccinations, take blood, and weigh each wolf, we calmly herd the wolves through their spacious enclosure and into capture boxes - wooden doghouse-like structures with removable roofs. Once a wolf is captured in the box, Dr Maus proceeds with the exam. The actual exam takes only minutes, the real challenge is capturing the frightened wolves. Thankfully, red wolves F1291, M1394, F1397, M1803, and M1804 (a.k.a. "Ruby," "Harper," "Witch-hazel," "Moose," and "Thicket") ran into their boxes without a hitch. All the wolves looked in tip-top shape, M1803 weighed in at 83 lbs - looks like their diets of road killed deer makes for some pretty hefty red wolves!
Once our day's mission had been accomplished, our team gathered for a group photo and was pleased to have a magnificent guest drop in. A bald eagle soared overhead. A wild ambassador symbolizing the importance of the Endangered Species Act and reminder of why our work for red wolves remains so essential.
Big thanks to our great team of volunteers who came out for the task as well as our generous veterinarian, Paul Maus, DVM from North Westchester Veterinary Office, for volunteering his time, expertise, and labor yesterday morning and to all the red wolves you are unknowingly contributing to the recovery of their rare species.
To learn more about the critically endangered red wolf and the WCC's participation in its recovery, please watch our new educational video.