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 New Wolf Gets Cozy With Mate
Elffster
Posted: Aug 22 2006, 01:36 AM


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Wed, Aug 9, 2006
By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post

A four-year-old female red wolf has made an easy transition from an exclusive New York boarding school to Dan Nicholas Park.

"It's good news copy," said Bob Pendergrass, supervisor of the Rowan Nature and Learning Center.

"They are cuddling up. One of them is laying with their head across the back of the other," said Pendergrass. "Absolutely no sign of aggression."

Pendergrass, in the role of matchmaker, introduced the New York wolf to its roommate early Tuesday morning.

The male arrived three weeks ago from the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Va.

The male, who was first reported to be 14-years-old is actually 10. His mate died recently.

"We're part of the breeding program. We're hoping to contribute to the population in 2007," said Pendergrass.

The two red wolves are among an estimated 300 red wolves known to exist worldwide.

The placement and breeding of the wolves is controlled by the Red Wolf Program.

Pendergrass picked up the female wolf on Saturday at the Trevor Zoo in Millbrook, N.Y., a small New England-style town two miles outside New York City.

Trevor Zoo is owned and operated by Millbrook School, a private co-educational boarding school founded in 1931. The campus is 634 acres of woods, streams and farmland including the zoo, which was founded in 1936 by biology teacher Frank Trevor.

In addition to red wolves, the Trevor Zoo has more than 100 species, including other endangered species.

The zoo serves as a teaching tool with students learning to feed and care for the animals.

Red Wolf Program officials decided to move the female wolf to avoid problems. She had a litter of two pups who are now grown.
Released: The wolf runs from her enclosure after she was released into the habitat. She circled the den several times before going inside. Photo by Wayne Hinshaw, Salisbury Post.
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"When pups get older, it's about who's in charge," said Pendergrass. "They move them around for their own safety."

The female wolf has had closer human contact than the male. "She is less shy. She seems to be more comfortable with the whole process," he said.

Early Wednesday, when she was turned loose in the enclosure, she ran around for a few minutes and then headed into the den where the male was resting.

And, as long at the hot temperatures hold, they're likely to spend a lot of time in there.

The den is partially sunken in the ground providing a break from the heat.

While the wolves are on exhibit at the park, efforts will be made to keep preserve their wild instincts. "These guys will never go in the wild, but their pups might," said Pendergrass.

And there are no plans to name either wolf. To park staff, Pendergrass said, they they are " Mr and Mrs. Wolf and maybe that will mean more in the future."

Web visitors to the park can check out the wolves and other animals at the park on the new website: www.dannicholas.net.

The arrival of the red wolves has been eagerly awaited after the park's first red wolves were returned to the Western Carolina Nature Center in Asheville after an escape. The wolf, which became known as "Ramblin Red," escaped the park's new enclosure and went on a nine-day tour of eastern Rowan before being recaptured.

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