Pepe – 04/03/2009 to 01/04/2017

It is with the deepest of regret and a heavy heart we have to announce that Pepe passed away on Saturday 1st April 2017.

We informed Pepe’s “adoptors” last evening about the sad news before making this general announcement to all our members. We had high hopes that he was making a recovery from the illness that we had announced a few weeks ago, regrettably this was not the case and he had a sudden relapse and died on Saturday.

Pepe has spent nine years with us at Wolf Watch and had the best care and attention that we could provide, and we feel certain that he enjoyed his life with us. We will miss him dearly and so will his long term partner Callow who is already missing him and exhibiting similar behaviour to that we have seen before in these circumstances. As with all the wolves Pepe had his own favourite place to lay down in his enclosure to sunbathe and snooze and as if in a state of mourning Callow is now spending much of her time laying in Pepe’s spot. Pepe has been buried overlooking the valley and in the sight of his friends.

We would like to dedicate the BBC “Inside Out” programme screened on 31st March 2017 to Pepe’s memory, as this is the last footage taken of him enjoying daily life with Callow, and our latest additions Sansa and Rickon.

Pepe – 04/03/2009 to 01/04/2017pepe11

New Pack Members – Welcome Rickon and Sansa!

Now that TV the program “Inside Out – West Midlands” has aired on BBC, Wolf Watch UK can finally announce the arrival of our two new pack members Rickon and Sansa. Brother and sister like their namesakes from Game of Thrones who both had Dire Wolves in the hit TV series.

They arrived in the middle of January from a private collection that were in need of rehoming. They are 8 months old and are getting used to their new spacious environment, slowly gaining confidence and getting used to life at the centre. They have already met the neighbours Pepe and Callow and all seem to be enjoying each others company.

We would like to thank Paradise Wildlife Park and their exceptional staff for their help with transportation and veterinary assistance. Your kindness and support is very much appreciated and valued.

Rickon and Sansa will be available for adoption very soon. Please keep checking back for updates on them and the rest of the WWUK pack.

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Pepe Health Scare

We’ve had a tough time at Wolf Watch over the past few weeks. Pepe gave us a bit of a scare, he developed a large swelling on his throat and stopped eating. The initial prognosis from the vet was not good and we feared the worse. He has suffered a lot of muscle wastage and became unsteady on his feet. Tony spent lots of time with Pepe encouraging him to eat, by hand feeding him his favourite sardines. The signs became a little more encouraging and we called the vet out again and further investigations determined that the swelling was an abscess and nothing more sinister. A course of strong antibiotics was proscribed and we are pleased to report that there has been significant improvement in his appetite and we are hopeful that this is the start of him retuning to the Pepe that we all know and love.



Wolf Cull Sparks Outrage in Italy

Wolf Cull Plan Sparks Outrage in Italy

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Opponents of a move to kill 5 percent of the country’s wolves argue that there are more effective ways to protect livestock.

Italy was set Thursday to give an initial green-light to a plan to cull five percent of its wolves in a move that has sparked a national outcry.

The measure is set to be adopted at a Rome conference of state and regional representatives but will still have to be approved by parliament, and has met fierce resistance among environmentalists and animal lovers.

The Canis lupus italicus, known for its pelt which reddens in summer, has been a protected species since 1971. There are believed to be some 1,600 of them living in the mountainous regions of the Appenines and up to 150 in the Alps.

But opponents of the plan insist the lack of a recent population census means the numbers may be way off — the Apennine estimates range from between 1,070 and 2,472 — and therefore it is impossible to aim to cull five percent of them.

They also say other measures to protect lifestock would be far more effective. Moreover, there are no statistics on the damage the noble predators cause — with bears stories often stealing the limelight in the Italian press.

The wolf was once venerated here: fable has it a she-wolf suckled the twins Romulus and Remus, before the former went on to found Rome on the banks of the Tiber river, and the lupus is the city’s symbol.

But farmers today have little patience for these sleek hunters.

Stefano Masini, head of the environment arm of Italy’s agricultural association Coldiretti, says the situation has worsened in recent years.

The number of wolves is rising sharply “and attacks on cattle multiply, now even in daylight”, he told AFP.

The new plan envisages 22 measures ranging from conducting a fresh census, to installing electric fences to protect livestock, speeding up compensation payouts for farmers who have lost animals, and tackling crossbreeading between dogs and wolves.

In general the ideas have been well-received — all except one: the controversial culling quota, which could see 85 animals killed a year.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has cried “SOS Wolf” on social networks, circulated petitions and organised a protest at the conference.

Nearly 140 activists from the EcoRadicali environmentalist group held a two-day hunger strike against the project ahead of the Rome meet.

“Shooting wolves (…) does not solve anything,” the WWF said, especially as prevention techniques like electric fences or guard dogs have already proved effective where used.

EcoRadicali’s Fabrizio Cianci said 300 wolves are killed by poachers every year in Italy, and slammed the cull quota as merely a way to legalise part of that figure and make the lives of lazy law enforcers easier.

Faced with the backlash, officials from some regions little affected by wolves — such as Lazio or Puglia — have disassociated themselves from the plan. Piedmont, where attacks on livestock are on the rise, has called for further study.

The government says studies show it is lone wolves who go after sheep, rather than those who live, move and hunt as a pack. It says targeting such animals would protect packs from gratuitous and unfounded attacks by irate farmers.

Masini from Coldiretti attempted to reassure animal lovers, saying that “if the other 21 measures are applied correctly, with the necessary financial resources, there will be no need to carry out the slightest cull”.

But should this wild creature be under the gun at all?

Farmers and environmentalists agree on one key point: the real danger does not lie with wolves, but with Canis lupus familiaris — ownerless or abandoned dogs, left to roam free in spite of various laws brought in to tackle the problem.

“Far more numerous than wolves, stray dogs compete with them for resources, (and) pose a serious health hazard and risk of cross-breeding,” the plan says.

It may be dogs that sink fangs into sheep or goats, but it is their elegant and usually shy cousins who pay the price: “the damage they cause to lifestock (is) wrongly attributed to wolves,” it said.

AFP Feb 2, 2017 10:08 AM ET

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year and Best Wishes from all at Wolf Watch UK.

Thank you so much for your continued support, kind donations and our valued members in helping towards the care and upkeep of the wolves this past year. We look forwards to welcoming friends both old and new in 2017. We have some exciting news on the horizon so keep checking back for updates…

Kind Regards
Tony and The Team.


Paradise Wildlife Park

Last Saturday Paradise Wildlife Park hosted a Wolf Evening where our director Tony Haighway was asked to be a guest speaker along with Caroline Elliott of The Anglian Wolf Society.

The aim of the evening was to help raise public awareness of the plight that wolves face, news of current conservation projects and an update about Anja the wolf that was re-homed at Wolf Watch from Paradise Wildlife Park last year for her own welfare, due to her being involved in dominance fights with her siblings, Inge and Romulus.

In an unexpected announcement Wolf Watch was presented with a cheque for £1000 towards the ongoing construction costs of Anjas new 5 acre enclosure.

We are tremendously grateful to Lynn, Pia, all the staff and trustees at Paradise Wildlife Park for your on going support and generosity. Thank You!

Green World TV – Episode featuring Madadh

Anneka Svenska, conservationist, wildlife presenter and founder of Green World TV visited Wolf Watch last week along with Dr Isla Fishburn of Kachina Canine Communication to film an episode focusing on Zoopharmacognosy and it’s uses for natural healing.

We will let you know when editing has finished and the episode is ready to be aired. In the meantime Anneka has written a short piece for her Green World blog.

Photographing the Wild Wolves of Yellowstone | National Geographic

A interesting piece by National Geographic and photographer Ronan Donovan. Hear him describe the challenge of photographing one of Yellowstone National Park’s most elusive and iconic species: wolves!

Wolf Watch Ink!

Earlier this month Wolf Watch UK welcomed back one of our long standing supporters Tom Williams, when he visited The Centre to introduce his guest and new membership recruit Jan Jones to his adopted wolf Pepe, and the rest of the Wolf Watch pack. Tom has been a member for almost 7 years and received his first Wolf Adoption as a Christmas present from his parents. “At the time I thought it was just a wrapped up and framed photo of a wolf, little did I know that it was an adoption, and still is my favourite recurring Christmas present.”

This was Tom’s introduction to wolves and little did he know at the time that it would become one of his lifetime passions. “The wolf that was adopted for me was Pepe, and through photos and visits my level of respect for him only grew, for me he represented the natural world, an animal to be truly respected and simply admired. Every year I always readopt Pepe simply because he will always be my Alpha. But I have come close to adopting Maddy because of how beautiful she is to me, and so adopted her for my friend and colleague Jan, whom I shared my last wolf visit with.”

Since then Tom has been devoted supporter of Pepe, our male Timber Wolf by renewing his membership and visiting him several times, but Toms enthusiasm hasn’t stopped there and has taken on an even more permanent form. In tribute to his love of Pepe and the Wolf Watch wolves, Tom has pushed the barriers of pain aside and had a tattoo on his arm as a tribute to both Pepe and Madadh. “I was inspired to have the tattoos after a visit to the sanctuary a few years back now, it had been my third visit to see the wolves I believe. By this point I had already completely fallen in love with all of them, but I was truly in awe of Pepe who had been my adopted wolf since the beginning, and so he had to be there, and Maddy was chosen for the second part because for me she truly made the experience personal and magical!”

Tom was in the tattoo parlour for about two and a half to three hours, and it was his first tattoo. “My tattoo artist, a man by the name of Lee Piercy, actually commented saying it was a large tattoo for a first timer,” but he loved the idea and story behind it. Maybe in the future I might even add in other members of the Wolf Watch pack, as they truly brighten up my world every time I visit, I’m also considering adding a scenic background.”

We would like to express our admiration and personally thank Tom for his continued support and dedication to the Wolf Watch pack.

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Wolf Run Challenge

Our good friend and Wolf Watch Team Member Jason Cortis will be taking part in the Wolf Run 10k. Jason is running the gruelling course this Sunday – a 10k route of mud, climbing frames, swimming in freezing water and lots of other nasties all to support the work we do at Wolf Watch UK. Any donations to his plight wont make the run any easier but will certainly help the wolves!

Please show your support and help him reach his target.

Good Luck Jason!


We are pleased to report Jason successfully completed the challenge… albeit minus a toenail! Well done Jason and Thank you!

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Anja’s New Observation Point

Work has begun on creating a new observation point. We are planning on siting a cabin on an elevated platform overlooking the pond and what will be Anja’s new enclosure. Hopefully this space will become useful as a classroom for educational visits and provide a new all weather vantage point for visiting members and our Photography and Art Day’s.

The pond attracts a large variety of wild visitors from kingfishers, herons and even the occasional otter in the past. Not to mention our resident deer, they love to wade into the centre and reach the tasty flowering plants that the rabbits and hares can’t get to. Think they will be a little disappointed when Anja moves in!

We would welcome any donations towards the funding of this project. Any contributors will be gratefully acknowledged. Please use the donate button or contact us directly.


The reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone national park

Wolves are ecosystem engineers that play an important role in the habitats they live in by improving the environment and helping to increase biodiversity. Join us as Wolf Watch UK takes you on a journey through George Monbiot’s TED talk about how the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone national park had a balancing effect on the plants, animals and even the rivers!

Filmed by Jason Cortis BSc at Wolf Watch UK
Narration from TED: “For more wonder, rewild the world” by George Monbiot. Watch the full seminar here: