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Field Journal: Gray Wolves of Yellowstone


Thursday, November 7, 1996

Planning to move wolves
Reported by Will Waddell

I got to the zoo early today and walked down to check on the wolves. They were all howling as I got there. Many things seem to get them howling — like low-flying airplanes or when the ferry boat close to the zoo sounds its horn. Sometimes they just start on their own. I never get tired of listening to them.

There are several wolves that are going to be moved in the next few weeks. We are preparing to move female number 638 from the Trevor Zoo in Millbrook, New York, to the Racine Zoo in Wisconsin. She was born at Trevor and has been getting picked on by her mother, which is why we have to move her. Moving the wolves takes planning. There are health checks, vaccinations, and other paperwork to do. Many of the wolves are moved on airplanes in reinforced crates. When I approve a move, the zoos that are involved in the move contact each other to figure out the best time to ship the wolves. Airlines are then called to figure out the fastest way to get the wolves to their new home.

Most of the moves planned this year will send wolves to zoos that are joining the red wolf breeding program and have new facilities. There is one in Minnesota, South Carolina, and maybe one in Florida. These new places are important because it gives us more space for the wolves and a better chance to put wolves together to have more pups.

There is a lot more to this job than taking care of wolves. The important thing is that as long as there are people trying to help, wolves will be around for the future.

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