Animal Department Director, Sherry Samuels’ recent post about Red Wolf #1369 leaving us for the Pacific Northwest prompted me to post the sequence of photos below. The photos are from this past week and appear to be strange behavior by our female #1287 towards our departing male on October 18, a Thursday.
The female persists in running around the male trying to engage him in play. He obviously isn’t in the mood to play. After several minutes of tolerating her…
On a serious note, this is the same behavior I witnessed when the female was in heat the past two winters, although I did not see her present herself to the male on this day. Our female has always been the more playful of the two wolves, he the more serious. In fact, her playful behavior would often get her a snarl and nip on the neck, although he has mellowed over the two years that they’ve been together.
Red Wolves are in estrus in January-February, so that can’t be what was going on in the wolf enclosure.
Any ideas from you behavioral folks out there? Is this just play or was she trying to tell him something. It didn’t appear to be submissive behavior given at greeting one another. She, essentially, called him out.