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Surprise litter of wolf pups finds a home at Wolf Sanctuary of Pa.

Wolf, Wolf Photography,

By Marcus Schneck, mschneck@pennlive.com.

A half-dozen wolf pups are settling into life at the Wolf Sanctuary of PA near Lititz in northern Lancaster County.

They are learning how to be wolves and how to be a pack, experiencing new things daily and preparing for life in a large, natural enclosure in the sanctuary

Bob Hench, a wildlife photographer in Hershey, has been documenting the development of the young wolves since their arrival at the sanctuary. Here are some of his photos and the story of wolf pups.
Photo June 26, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench

The litter of 3-month-old wolves arrived at the sanctuary in early June, when they were about 6-weeks-old. They were born after a pair of adult wolves at a wildlife park in Pennsylvania successfully mated, surprising keepers there, who thought the female had passed out of her season for mating.

Photo July 2, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench

The 4 females and 2 males have nearly doubled in size since arriving at the sanctuary.

Each of them is now eating about 2 pounds of raw beef or chicken, bone, and small amounts of blueberry, carrots and other vegetables daily, all ground into patties and fed to the pups in 3 meals per day.

Photo July 2, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench

After a week or so of settling into their new surroundings, the young wolves began eating a pound per day each, but that quickly jumped 1.5 pounds.

Soon it will be increased from the current 2 pounds per day to 2.5 pounds per day.

Eventually it will be bumped to the same 3 pounds per day that is fed to adult wolves 4 days each week, with some snacks between meals.

Photo July 9, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench

To replace the healthy gut bacteria that the pups would receive if their mother was chewing the food and regurgitating for them, staff and volunteers at the sanctuary mix in supplemental probiotics, according to Michelle Mancini, education coordinator.



Photo July 9, 2018
 
Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench

A team of four people has been handling the bulk of the caregiving for the young wolves, everything from cleaning their enclosure to feeding and providing clean water to socializing them to human contact.

“If we can have them trust a few of the caretakers, it makes their care that much easier,” explained Mancini “Wolves are inherently very timid. They fear something first. It will take a while to build up trust, even with socialization. Anything unfamiliar is going to be suspicious to them.”

Photo July 12, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench

Captive wolves, and other animals, socialized to human interaction facilitates everything from close monitoring of the animal’s health and condition to veterinary visits to everyday care for the animals. Zoos and other animal facilities across the country have developed a wide range of techniques for socializing desired behaviors in their animals, even for creatures like snakes and sharks.

Photo July 12, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench

Eventually the wolf pups will be moved as a pack into a large, outdoor, natural enclosure and they’ll be given enrichments like large bones and other things to chew and experience.

Photo July 23, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench

The pups already are starting to come into different roles within that future pack.

“Having each other is way more important for wolves than having us” interacting with them, said Mancini

Photo July 23, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench

The outdoor enclosure, where the young wolves will be moved after getting their immunizations and being released from quarantine, is under development and, with its split design that can be separated into two parts by a gate, is being used now for making introductions between other adult wolves already at the sanctuary.

Photo July 26, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench
Pack enclosures at the sanctuary are 1-3 acres.

“If the enclosure is more than 3 acres, it makes it challenging” when the animals need special care, such as for veterinarian visits,” said Mancini

Shy, sick or injured wolves often try to hide, and larger enclosures help them to do that.

Photo July 26, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench
A date has not been set for the move into the outdoor enclosure and the introduction of the pups to the public.

Anticipation is running high on the sanctuary's Facebook page.

Photo August 2, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench
The pups have been named: Fenrir and Shiloh for the males, and Vivian Laurel, Violet, Hera and Freya for the females.

Photo August 2, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench
The addition of the wolf pups brings the sanctuary’s total population to 55 wolves and wolf-dog hybrids.

Photo August 7, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench
Although it hasn’t been verified with DNA testing, staff at the wildlife park where the pups were born told the sanctuary that they are pure gray wolf.

Wolf-dogs, which often are created to skirt laws prohibiting the possession of pure wolves, usually have a dog as one of their parents or grandparents.

Photo August 7, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,

Bob Hench
Also, soon to be announced by the sanctuary are financial adoption opportunities for the wolf pups. Mancini said, even without the formal sponsorships, many people have already donated for their support.

Photo August 7, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench
The Wolf Sanctuary of PA was created as a private rescue for wolves in 1980 by William Darlington, who served as executive director through 1998. It grew into an educational facility.

The sanctuary website explains, “For over 30 years the Darlington family has offered refuge to wolves who have found themselves without a place in the natural world.

“We are devoted to assuring the most comfortable and stimulating environments for our wolves. Here at Wolf Sanctuary of PA wolves and wolf dogs are given back their dignity.”

Photo August 9, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench
The sanctuary refers to its canine population as the Wolves of Speedwell for its location off Speedwell Forge Road at the village of Speedwell and considers them to be “ambassadors to the wild.”

Photo August 9, 2018

Wolf, Wolf Photography,
Bob Hench
The only way for the public to see the wolves is by guided tours. The sanctuary offers tours of 1-1.5 hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays; full-moon tours on the night of full moon each month, except for January and February; private tours; and photography sessions. Reservations and more information are available on the Wolf Sanctuary of PA website.

Source pennlive.com

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