A massive thank you to Honley Dog Club and Rivos Kennels for organising a fun dog show last weekend. Raising £285 which they have generously donated to Wolf Watch UK. The funds will go towards helping care for our wolves and purchase plenty sardines for Anja!!
She is unbelievably gentle when taking food.
Wolves are crucial for maintaining a healthy ecosystem — a fact that was conveniently forgotten when they were exterminated from almost all of the continental United States by ranchers, farmers, trappers and hunters.
Meanwhile, the populations of other animals exploded. The entire ecosystem of the American wilderness was changed by rapidly expanding populations of large ungulates.
After decades of political wrangling with those who traditionally persecuted wolves, conservation biologists and activists who supported restoration of wolves finally prevailed: the grey wolf, Canis lupus, was finally reintroduced several areas in the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. One of those release areas was Yellowstone National Park. Subadult wolves from several packs in Alberta’s Mackenzie Valley were captured using tranquilizer darts and released in Yellowstone in January 1995 and again in January 1996.
Credit: The Guardian, GrrlScientist – an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology and ecology, especially in birds.
Dear Members and Friends,
I have the saddest news, but also in a way I am trying to feel positive about it.
Yesterday afternoon. we lost Kgosi.
He appeared to have been drinking from the shallow part of the stream when he collapsed and died.
A stroke in 2015 had left Kgosi both blind and deaf.
Following treatment from our brilliant vet Lloyd Jones and aftercare by ourselves, Kgosi’s determination to live won the day to regain physical fitness and in addition, hold together the dignity and respect entirely suited to his unique character, that of a dominant, intelligent and magnificent male Wolf.
Equal to the surprise of his recovery was the role undertaken by his sister Madadh who recognised her brother’s disabilities and took it upon herself to act as a ‘Guide Dog.’
She assisted him around their enclosure for a period of some six months until familiarity was restored and with the use of scent he regained his independence.
At the age of 18 years he was one of the oldest Wolves in existence and therefore it was not difficult to recognise that age had finally caught up with him.
Having originated from Port Lyme zoo in Kent, he and his sister were part of an unplanned litter of Canadian Wolves and the Zoo had put a great deal of effort into finding a good alternative home for them.
Arriving here at eight days old the pair slept with me in a sleeping bag on the kitchen floor for the first two months of their life. Bottle feeding them every two hours was both a rewarding and exhausting experience.
In the eighteen years that followed it is impossible to recollect the memories of pleasure and sometimes pain that both animals have taken part in.
There are so many stories.
The certainty rising above all else though, is the Privilege it has been to have played a part in their lives.
Our priority now is to take care of Madadh, old age is apparent and some illness has also taken its toll.
She has shared an enclosure with Kgosi for 18 years plus and it is not difficult to equate her situation with events that have occurred in our own lives.
It is also an appropriate time to thank everyone who has adopted Kgosi over the years. Your help has supported the existence of Wolf Watch UK and the animals we have kept here.
In particular, those who have been able to visit us will share in the sadness of this occasion as anyone who has met Kgosi will have been positively and often spiritually affected by the experience.
Wolf Watch UK.
As some of our members maybe aware it was Anja’s Birthday on the 27th of April. We would like to wish her brother and sister (Romulus and Inge) from Paradise Wildlife Park a very Happy Birthday too.
Here #wolfwatchuk is on #ANIMALRESCUE after a very young #roedeer ran down the drive and slipped on the bend! It recovered well and Tony has released it back into the wild (away from any hungry wolves of course!).
Happy Easter from all at Wolf Watch UK
Thank you to all our members for your on going support.
Anja wondering if Tony has anymore sardines!
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 01/04/2017
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.
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 Plan Sparks Outrage in Italy
Sign the petition here:
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.
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…
Tony and The Team.
A heartfelt Thank You to all our supporters and members.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2017.
On behalf of Tony and the wolves we would just like to say a big Thank You for the kind words and support that we have received after the airing of ITV’s Countrywise earlier this evening.
For those of you who missed it here is the link:
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!
As some of you might be aware our beloved old lady Madadh is receiving treatment for cancer, which was diagnosed last year.
Learn more about Zoopharmacognosy Treatment in this video.
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.
Please visit our Facebook Page to experience the Wolf Watch Valley in our first 360 degree photograph.