End of July 2013 we introduced Fang, our new male wolf, into our pack of girls. As you probably heard before, we lost all our male wolves due to a tragic crime (documented here on our website).
After several months of suspense and anticipation, the long awaited male wolf – to complement Haliburton Forest’s Wolf Center wolf pack – has arrived. His name is Fang and he is spectacular! Like his new female pack mates, he is a Western timber wolf, similar in size and colour.
Intense discussions during the days preceding Fang’s arrival centered on how best to introduce him: “Do we just release him into the existing pack without preparation; or do we keep him separate for a few days in sight of his future mates to ease him into the pack?” The debate raged with differing opinions from many staff and experts, who were unable to reach a consensus. The danger, of course, would be an aggressive stand of the females towards the new “intruder”. Most crucial would be the alpha female, Luna’s, response to her prospective mate. In the end it was left to chance. With a toss of the dice, we threw caution to the wind and risked a “cold turkey” introduction without any prior preparation.
A truck containing a caged Fang was driven directly into the wolf enclosure. The gate was flung open. We watched in breathless anticipation … Fang cautiously emerged and paused to inspect his new home. At first, he appeared timid – until Luna caught his eye. Luna’s initial approach towards Fang was confident and dominant. As Fang became fully aware of Luna, his posture changed and his timidness vanished. He not only stood his ground, but presented himself as dominant, in turn prompting Luna to become submissive … and together they trotted off into the forest.
Soon they were spotted on the other side of the enclosure, where beaver carcasses had been laid out to feast upon as a distraction. Fang, having previously fed mainly on chicken, had never encountered dead beavers before and was obviously taken by their scent. Instead of eating them, he rolled around on them, acquiring their smell.
Since it was a Thursday, we offered our weekly public evening wolf howl. This would be the telling tale. If matters within the pack were tense or uncertain, a howl would be difficult to extract from any of the pack. Happily, on our second attempt, all the wolves – including Fang – opened up and responded with a fabulous howl into the still of the summer’s night!