Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre - As the Wolf Turns

Currently the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre has 4 wolves:

HAIDA - Alpha male born May 8, 2007:

CEDAR - male, born May 11, 2002:

GRISSOM - male, not sure of DOB but younger than Cedar, older than Haida:

GRANITE - the only female, littermate to Grissom:

No puppies have been born since Haida's litter. I'm curious as to what will happen next, Granite hasn't produced a litter yet and if that continues they'll have to bring in another female. From what they were saying at the centre it would be a puppy. They are unsure if they will introduce new blood or find a pup from a pack they've donated to in the past.

I had to question how healthy it is for them to inbreed. Maybe there is a reason no litter has been born since 2007?

When I asked, the answer I got back was that wolves are not like dogs. Humans play matchmaker with dogs resulting in weak specimens living and breeding. In a wolf pack only the strongest survive, only the top two can breed, therefore the pack stays strong.

Ok, maybe.

But with 4 wolves? Father impregnating daughter or siblings mating? This doesn't sit right with me. This ISN'T a wild pack. This is a pack of 4, all related, in a 15 acre enclosure, fed by humans. Humans ARE playing matchmaker here. There is no opportunity for fresh blood from other packs. An individual does not have the ability to separate from this pack if they wanted to. I wonder how often new blood is introduced in the wild and the circumstances surrounding it?

The pack in 2007.

Feeding time - fall 2007.

Haida as a puppy in the rear. They want to get black back into the pack, (say that three times fast!) possibly one reason to use their own lines. Suddenly starts to sound like a dog breeder, doesn't it? Not natural selection making the pack strong.

Visiting the Haliburton Wolf Centre is something you should do if you are in the Algonquin/Haliburton area of Ontario. Don't forget your camera! The wolves spend most of their time sleeping, but if you are lucky enough to visit at feeding time they get super active. I love seeing how they interact with each other and watching them float over the ground on their long legs with massive paws. Hopefully there will be new wolves in the pack in 2011.

I want to visit the wolves at least once a year. Watch for future installments of As the Wolf Turns!

Read more about the Haliburton Wolf Pack.


Urban canines said...

Wow I had no idea such an interesting concept was so close to us! We are also in the southern Ontario area. Thank you for the link and wonderful pictures!

K9-CRAZY said...

If you go be sure to post an update on the pack! Nice to find a local blogger, do you know Kourtney?

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...

The last time I was there was when the Teen was probably Wee One's age - so it's been a while. They had a MUCH bigger pack then (and the hydraulics on my camera died and I lost all my amazing shots!).

4 related individuals does not a genetically healthy wolf pack make... what a shame. And yeah, not a very intelligent answer you got back. Doesn't sound like they're putting the effort in to keeping things going there, does it.