It is with sadness that I write to tell you that our Wolf Poppy passed away earlier this week.
She was almost 16 years of age and had arrived here many years ago following a dominance fight within her pack at West Midlands Safari Park. Initially she was placed in the same enclosure with Nouska and Callow and a good relationship was founded. However, when the annual hormonal season arrived she and Callow became rivals for Nousa’s attention. As a consequence and in order to avoid imminent hostilities, she was moved next door to a smaller and mainly wooded enclosure where she could still see, smell and hear her former pack mates, but that was all.
Although Poppy had no early socialisation, over the years, whilst remaining shy, she would occasionally take kindly to someone, usually a female person who spent time sitting by the edge of her enclosure, offering food or simply waiting for a chance sighting or photograph.
This behaviour rarely extended itself to me and I often wondered if she had perhaps not forgiven me for that earlier separation from her former mates.
It was over the last few weeks that a noticeable difference took place in her activities, that reminded me of her age and that 16 years was over twice the age of a Wolf that lived in the wild.
I introduced a new shelter into the enclosure that, surprisingly she took to for a short while before passing away quite close to it.
Poppy will be remembered as a kindly Wolf who I believe enjoyed her thickly wooded environment that gave her some contact with her neighbours without compromising her own privacy.
Could I thank everyone who had adopted her over the years. This support has benefitted her and has allowed us to continue Wolf Watch and what we do here.
Poppy is buried next to Callow and Tilly near to her enclosure.
We are so close to finishing the area around the new Kgosi Lodge, with the landscaping almost complete. Here are a few more photo updates.
There has been some cold starts and even colder late nights working on the new Kgosi Lodge, but as you can see we have made some fantastic progress. We can’t wait to share with you the finished building!
It’s a little frosty underfoot today, but we’ve some more progress for you to see on the lodge.
The roof tiles have now been placed on our new Kgosi Lodge. We are very excited at how the Lodge is progressing, and will hopefully have some more exciting progress news for our followers soon.
Roof batoning has gone on the new Kgosi lodge over the past week, as the build moves ever closer to completion.
Another quick Kgosi Lodge update for all our followers. Things are progressing nicely, as you can see from the photo, we now have most of the roof structure, and wall insulation in place.
The local population of deer have taken an interest in the developments at the new Kgosi Lodge. The roof beams are in place and the structure is definitely indicative of how the final building is going to look.
The lodge is starting to take shape, with the floorboards now in place.
Progress continues at pace on the new Kgosi Lodge! Be sure to check back soon for more updates.
We would like to thank WWUK lifetime member Anita Greenfield for hosting her annual Wolf Watch fundraiser / card, cake and prosecco evening and donating the proceeds to our wolves. Anita came along to centre and presented the cheque to Tony.
Thank you Anita we greatly appreciate your continued support and we look forwards to welcoming you back to see the pack very soon.
Our partners over at Severn Oak Frames have been busy fabricating the roof for the brand new Kgosi Lodge.
Work is now well underway on our new lodge, with pipework being laid and the first bricks placed, you can see here the initial footprint of the building is taking shape. We will keep you posted over the next few weeks, on how we are getting along with the exciting new development – for now it’s back to the building site!
We are pleased to announce that work has commenced on the new Kgosi Lodge. Our builders were on site at 6.30am, and after removing our gates to allow the massive 6 wheeler to get through the foundation’s were dug and 30 metres of concrete laid.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to Lyn, Pia and all at Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne.
Unfortunately due to dominance fights with her sister, Anja was rehomed with us in 2015. We are extremely grateful to Paradise Wildlife Park for their continued support of Anja.
The donation will be put towards fencing costs and on going improvements of Anja’s enclosure. Thank you once more.
Anja’s brother Romulus and sister Inge still happily live together at Paradise Wildlife Park.
We’d love to see your wolf themed Halloween pictures, please share them with us on our facebook page:
It is with sadness we announce that two of our Wolves have recently died. Tilley who came to us almost a year ago and Callow who has been with us for many years.
Tilley and Rickon were involved in a dominance fight through the double fence separating their enclosures. Tilley broke two strands of fence on his side allowing him to get his head through. Rickon bent the wire on his side allowing him the same access. Although there is a nine inch gap between the two, they were able to engage in a fight.
I was able to separate them and Rickon walked away shaking. Tilley was injured and despite every effort I was unable to contain him as he embedded himself in thick undergrowth and kept moving away. There was little the vet could do and it became dark, even with torches I couldn’t locate him. At first light, I managed to crawl to him and extract him. By then he was not fully conscious. Despite best efforts by our vet he succumbed to his injuries.
Ten days later, although not involved in the confrontation, I found Callow curled up in her sleeping place, it appeared she had passed away whilst sleeping.
Having kept Wolves over a long period of time, the experience of loss holds some familiarity. Each Wolf resonates a mark of understanding about life and death. Like people, it’s what has happened in their lifetime that is important. Unfortunately, captivity controlled their lives, so the experiences that nature intended for them were reduced.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that much of their behaviour in captivity mirrors that which occurs in the wild.
The circumstances and timing surrounding the Loss of Tilley and Callow were sudden and unexpected in the sense. I believed double fencing would inhibit such an occurrence and that this behaviour (the augmentation of aggression between males) has never manifested itself until November onwards through to Spring when Cubs arrive and the hormonal situation settles.
For me, it is a lesson learned, that relates to the determination embedded in Wolves when they engage in such behaviours. Overcoming the almost heart stopping shock of discovering something you love is injured or dead can only be dealt with by moving forward. The care and respect is inherent, but I feel the loss must be accepted and regarded as the ‘Flip’ side of the good experiences, happiness and privilege that we have enjoyed in sharing their lives.
I am sorry to bring you this news.
With thanks, Tony
Our friends at Paradise Wildlife Park are hosting their annual Wolf Night. Tony will be there providing an update on our wolves and what’s been happening at Wolf Watch over the past 12 months.
The whole team is looking forwards to catching up with old friends and new. Please show your support to Paradise Wildlife Park who continue to help us with the ongoing care of Anja.
Hopefully see a few of you there!
Our planning application for the erection of replacement building to provide a short-stay lodge/educational facility (Kgosi Lodge), has been submitted to Shropshire Council. We are asking for your support of our application by going to Shropshire Councils planning portal and expressing your support for our proposed educational centre.
Please copy and paste this link into your browser and register with the Council which will then allow you to log into the planning portal in order to leave your comment:
After registering the application number to search is 18/01628
We would greatly appreciate receiving your support as this project forms a major part of our plans for a sustainable future for Wolf Watch UK, and so allowing us to continue to provide for the welfare of the current and future wolves in our care.
Time is limited and the public consultation period expires on 15 May 2018, so your immediate attention to our cause is requested.