Showing posts with label kaila. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kaila. Show all posts

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Remembering Ambassador Wolf Kaila

Kaila R.I.P. (May 1, 1995 - February 21, 2011)

Two years ago today we said goodbye to the WCC's quiet queen. Kaila pioneered our education program as the WCC’s first wolf and witnessed our organization flourish. We miss her deeply.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Final Day in Yellowstone: New Friendships and a Tearful Farewell

The Wolf Conservation Center's Spring Yellowstone Adventure is coming to a close. WCC's Alex Spitzer sent us his final report and it sounds like the great crew will be bringing back some great memories, photos, and new friendships.

Final Day in Yellowstone
Today was our last day in the park and boy was it exciting. Not only was it another three dog day (wolf, coyote, and fox), but we also saw both types of bear (black and grizzly) that are found in the park. One other interesting addition today was that we were joined by Scott Frazier of the Crow and Santee Tribes. He is also the founder of Project Indigenous, a group whose goal is to incorporate indigenous knowledge into solving many of the climate concerns we are currently faced with. Scott joined us today to tell us about some of work that he has done in Yellowstone as well as some history about the indigenous peoples of the greater Yellowstone region.

Our day started off with the sighting of a big beautiful bald eagle perching on a tree next to the road. There were tons of bison on the road in the morning but otherwise, nothing too different than the previous days. By the time we arrived in the Lamar Valley, however, things had changed. We pulled off near where we saw two members of the Lamar Canyon pack the previous day and were ecstatic to see that eight members of that same pack were harassing a female elk. After a standoff that lasted only a couple of minutes, the wolves decided that the elk was too healthy to take on and let the elk run off. This was probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

View from Apache Ridge

After witnessing the standoff we heading down the road to a place we call Apache Ridge. It is named that because on our trip two years ago, we spread some of the ashes of Apache, one of our original ambassador wolves. This time we came with a different mission, to add the ashes of our other two original ambassadors, Lukas and Kaila. Although we wanted to put their ashes with Apache, we found that the ridge was blocked off since the Lamar Canyon Pack was using it to cross the road. We decided that across the street along the Soda Butte Creek would be a perfect place. We were greatly honored to have Scott along with us who performed a brief ceremony as we spread the ashes. Scott chanted the Meadow Larks Song, a chant that he learned from his brother and performed in 1995 as the first group of wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National park. By the end of the ceremony, we were all almost in tears.
After finishing the ceremony and taking a few minutes of silence, we headed back down the road to Tower Falls to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. As we stared in awe of the landscape before us, we noticed a mother mountain sheep and her two calves walking alongside the cliff face. As we got ready to head down the road to the falls, we noticed a large group of people forming so walked down to find black bear grazing in an open field. Our final stop was the falls, another spectacular sight. We even saw an osprey nest which had an osprey sitting in it.

Tomorrow we will be heading back to Bozeman for the night before returning home. We are all sad to be leaving but we are looking forward to coming back next year. Big thanks to Nathan Varley, Linda Thurston, and everyone else that helped make this trip amazing!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ambassadors of the Past Remind Us Of Present Challenges In Lobo Recovery

GuidepostsTV posted an old video on YouTube over the weekend that stars the Wolf Conservation Center's original Ambassador Pack members: Apache, Lukas, and Kaila. Apache clearly steals the show by howling with the host and interrupting the discussion about Mexican gray wolf recovery with his soulful song. Although the video brings back wonderful memories, it's discouraging that the wild Mexican gray wolf population has failed to grow since this video was shot three years ago. More than 13 years after they were first reintroduced to the Southwest, there are still only around 50 Mexican wolves in the wild, making them the most endangered mammal in north America.

The great folks from Lobos of the Southwest want the stalling to stop. It's time to start restoring eligible captive wolves to their ancestral home in the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico. Lobos of the Southwest has a dedicated page on their website to help people take action because Mexican gray wolves need to live wild, and wild places need them.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Atka's Night Out

Atka as a young pup
Atka and crew had a really fun night visiting Tomkins Cove Public Library yesterday. Dozens of families braved the rain to attend the program, some even showed up decked out in full Wolf Conservation Center outfits! The first family to arrive are big Atka fans, they first met him when he was just six months old! They have followed Atka's adventures for close to a decade and they can't wait to meet Alawa and Zephyr when they next visit the Center! 
Ambassador wolves Kaila, Lukas, and Apache

We also had some time to reflect on all of the friends we said goodbye to over the past year or so. When they first heard of Apache's passing in March of 2010, tears flowed among three generations within their family. Ambassador wolves Apache, Lukas, and Kaila are in my thoughts often, last night I was reminded of just how vast an impact these beautiful animals had.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Déjà Vu?

Ambassador wolf Kaila as a pup in 1995 - Ambassador wolf Zephyr in 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Announcing: Art Contest!

Red wolf howling
We couldn't help but notice that the Wolf Conservation Center has a lot of fans who are great artists. Often people, especially students, present us with beautiful drawings or paintings when we're at programs. Sometimes they even sketch Atka during the program! Well, we want to see more of your amazing work, so we're announcing our first Art Contest, open to everybody who is 18 years-old or younger.

Elk grazes in Yellowstone National Park

Kaila resting in the sunlight


We're looking for drawings or paintings of wolves or their environment (which can include the other animals they live with). The rules are very simple and they're all here. We'll be awarding prizes in a bunch of different categories (and probably be giving some out randomly). Teachers - you can enter as a class if you want. The deadline isn't for a while so you have plenty of time to think of what to draw. And please spread the word!

Yellowstone National Park
Can't wait to see your work!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taking Comfort...

Thank you all so much for the support. It's been wonderful to receive so many kind words and photos! The WCC's "Staff Pack" have been a great comfort too. They never fail to bring out a smile :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Goodbye Kaila

Kaila R.I.P. (May 1, 1995 - February 21, 2011)

It is with great sadness that the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) announces the death of Kaila, the quiet queen of the Center’s “Ambassador Pack.”  At 15 years old, Kaila was our oldest Ambassador.  She pioneered our education program as the WCC’s first wolf and witnessed our organization flourish over the past decade.  Described as a real spitfire in her youth, Kaila grew warm and committed to the younger wolves when welcoming them to her pack.  Despite forever dodging the spotlight, she was a vibrant star and the keystone of her family.  She occupied the lowest ranking in the pack hierarchy which by no means suggests that she was the least important or loved.  It was Kaila’s role to furnish cohesion among her “brothers”, an essential characteristic for a successful pack.

Widowed twice over in 2010 with the passing of Apache and Lukas, Kaila continued to thrive and quietly win the hearts of our visitors until earlier this month when her body showed signs that it could no longer persevere.  This spring Kaila will join her fallen pack mates as a part of the Yellowstone landscape where they will forever dwell among the wild wolves that they helped people better understand.
Thank you, Kaila.  We miss you already.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Is it Spring Yet?

This has been a GREAT season for Kaila and the other 23 wolves that reside on the WCC's 27-acre winter wonderland, but the staff and volunteers are having a harder time embracing this month's record snowfall. Weekly blizzards have taken their toll on our equipment and during yesterday's clean up our only snow blower died. Our wishlist is robust and now and the number one item of need is a new or used snow blower. If you have an extra one you are willing to donate or if you know of any other leads, please email Spencer Wilhelm at or call us at 914-763-2373 x2. More snow is on the way... If you have the winter blues, just remember that there are 24 wolves in Westchester that are having a ball!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snowbound Photo Album

Owen is raring to go.
He and Charlie easily leave us behind.

Charlie and Noah prepare to enter the drifts
One giant leap for dachshund kind...

Noah lets Maggie break trail to the office.
Owen the unstoppable! 

Atka has left multiple trails in his enclosure...
...while Kaila stays near her cozy den

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Resting Their Eyes...

Trying to Stay Awake...

Waiting and Watching...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Strolling With Kaila

Just a quick look at the grande dame of the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY. Kaila is a 15 year-old Canadian/Rocky Mountain gray wolf. When we saw her out on her favorite perch this morning we couldn't resist shooting some footage. Maybe it's not our most exciting video, but everybody deserves a look at this lovely lady!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day!

We thought we'd give you an idea of how our canids are handling the recent "bad" weather that has most of us grumbling, shivering, shoveling, and worrying about commutes.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Thanks for all of your support! Wishing everybody a great 2010.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Silent Night?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Kaila!

Kaila, the grand dame of the Wolf Conservation Center, turns 14 years old today! Please join us in wishing her a happy birthday. Being the clever wolf she is, we have no doubt she'll let Apache and Lukas squabble over a morsel of food while she waltzes past to receive a birthday treat!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ready For Their Close-ups!

Here's a couple more videos from our remote cameras. But first a random observation for all you Kaila fans (and who isn't a Kaila fan?): The other day she was running through the enclosure when Apache suddenly appeared in front of her. Without missing a beat, she nimbly jumped right over him. Very impressive for a 13 year-old wolf!



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Deli? Sure! New Delhi? Not so much...

As we’ve mentioned before, we are always looking for ways to provide stimulating enrichment to the ambassador wolves. So when Rebecca Bose, the WCC curator, recently traveled to India, she took the opportunity to bring back some turmeric, a pungent Indian spice, thinking that the ambassadors would be intrigued by the strange and strong new odor.

So one morning last week we crunched our way through the snow up to the ambassador enclosures with a bagful of the bright yellow powder. I was envisioning the wolves curiously sniffing, ecstatically scent-rolling, inadvertently coloring their fur yellow, and generally having a good time.

As you may have gathered from the title of this entry, things didn’t exactly work out that way. Click here to view photos of this spicy encounter and compare them to photos from the wolves’ experiences the next day with liverwurst imported fresh from Cameron’s Deli in exotic Cross River, NY.