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.