Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Critically Endangered Wolves Get a Clean Bill of Health


This time of year Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) staff and volunteers pry into the private lives of the critically endangered wolves that call the WCC home. It's the season for annual medical exams. People often ask us how we monitor the health of our wolves. Needless to say, the well-being of our wolves is a top priority, so we constantly take stock of their health, monitoring the shy animals as much as we possible in person and also via webcam. We also conduct periodic veterinary checks for hands-on assessments, vaccinations, and blood-work. Under Species Survival Plan protocols, our Mexican Gray Wolves and Red wolves must be checked by a veterinarian on an annual basis.

Dr Maus at work
In order to examine each wolf, we 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, our volunteer veterinarian proceeds with the exam. We administer vaccinations, take blood samples, and record their heart rate, temperate and weight.

Today was the first of three health examination days and we're happy to report that all 5 wolves we examined (red wolves F1291, M1394, M1565, and F1397 and Mexican gray wolf F986) appear to be in GREAT health! We also learned that our largest wolf at the WCC is red wolf M1394 - he weighs 89 pounds! What a beefcake.

Big thanks to our great team of volunteers who came out for the task, to WCC's generous veterinarian, Paul Maus, DVM from North Westchester Veterinary Office, and to all the red wolves and Mexican gray wolves who are unknowingly contributing to the recovery of their rare species.

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