Saturday, June 17, 2006

Video of Wolf Release Day 

There is an incredibly awesome video of Wolf Release Day on the Seacrest Web
You can hear the wolves arrival to the enclosures, watching them explore their new homes, see the circle of prayer which blessed each enclosure, and hear what Seacrest has meant to a few volunteers. Henry and I are there.... maybe you can spot us.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Our 5th Cottonmouth 

Today Henry shot our 5th cottonmouth. This one was a few yards from our back door. Not a pleasant chore at 7:30 in the morning. It was under the bushes, staring me down when I went outdoors. The Florida swamps are dry and the snakes are looking for water and food. Last year 2 of our dogs were bitten. We were lucky we found the dogs as there is a 4 hour window for administering antivenom or the bites are fatal. Here is the snake about 3 feet long and a picture of Henry removing the head. Even a dead snake's venom is deadly so the head has to be removed and buried. We hope this is the last of the year, but I think that is wishful thinking. Also wishfill thinking that Henry will always be available to do the shooting....

New wolf pack! 

On release day, 2 young wolves were introduced to an established male and female pair. The young wolves had been together in the new habitat, but on release day they were contained in the lockout. After the older pair became familiar with their new enclosure and with the 2 pups through the fence, the pups were released. In the photo below you can see the lockout to the right and the pups just after they were released into the enclosure with the established pair.

The alpha male and female have discovered the pups!

The Omega is obvious and so quickly! Only a few seconds have passed. She tucks her tail and stays on the periphery. The center youngster shows her submission by licking the alpha female.

More submissive behavior toward the alpha female who bears her teeth to assert her dominance. The Omega is keeping her distance.

More role establishment... the Omega is squatting on the periphery - she is deeply subordinate and timid. Shortly, the pack ran off, having established their new roles.

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