Wolf Conflict

Conflicts between wolves are rarely, not to say never, directed towards people. In this video, Akiak and Ruby disagree over the space we share. The conflict escalates in front of me. I don't really react to it because I know for a fact this squabble is just for show. Dogs exhibit a similar behaviour; unfortunately, the normal behaviour often turns into a problem behaviour because people interfere prematurely.

I know these situations can be scary, my student was afraid and decided to leave the enclosure (the metal sound of the fence you hear), but I assure you, if you let your canine companions sort out their own conflicts they will become well adapted. Wolf and I survived a conflict so surely you dog can understand his own language.

Wolf Testing Bison

Here are a few videos from Wolf Park, note that more are available on You Tube. If you have questions or comments please do not hesitate to write. The fallowing videos were all taken at Wolf Park in August of 2008 by Gaby Dufresne-Cyr. In the first video a wolf is placed in the enclosure with bison in order to observe the first stages of a hunt. The wolf has found a lonely female which chases him off when he gets to close. See how the wolf is scenting the air for injuries, hoping the cow can't run. The bison on the other hand is not to worried about the situation and scratches herself.

Wolf Chases Bison

The wolf, probably Ruedi, is trying to split the herd of bison. Junior, the head bull, will have nothing to do with it. He is trying to protects the truck against apple thieves, note that Ruedi is scenting the air either for apples of for sick bison, or even both.

Coyote and Monty

Monty Sloan is doing a training session with the coyote. It is hard to interact with them as they are very hyper creatures. Pat Goodman and myself are out of the enclosure because it is to difficult, not to say dangerous, to be in there not watching their every move.

Wolfgang and Tristan

Wolfgang was being obnoxious and misbehaving, Tristan comes over to display dominance over his younger son. Note how close we are and how relaxed everybody is. Wolves display highly ritualized behaviours not intended towards humans. In this case it is ritualized greeting behaviour.

Wolfgang and Renki

Wolfgang is showing dominance over Renki. Renki was coming over for belly rubs and Wolfgang could not share humans with him. Again, notice how relaxed we are (listen to the conversation we are having) and how close the wolves are to us. People are not this relaxed when going to the park with their own dogs.

Nail cutting

Gale is cutting Ruedi's nails while Tristan comes over to nibble-groom my jeans (lower left corner). Wolves will comply with human demands only if they want to, in that way they are like cats. I was amazed at how relaxed everyone is, especially the wolves. The session ends when Wotan comes over to investigate and Tristan wants to supervise.

Wolves Howl

Wolf Park's 11 year-old wolf, Tristan, howls for the last time as alpha male. He was deposed by his younger sons Woton, Wolfgang, and daughter Kailani in July of 2009. He is doing fine, and enjoys visits from his other offspring Ruedi, Renki and Ayla.