Are the wolves out today?

“Are the wolves out today?”

I’m asked that question on a daily basis by visitors here at the Museum. Unless there is a sign indicating that the wolves are off exhibit due to veterinary care, the answer is always “Yes, the wolves are always out.” They’re not always easy to find though.

Our Red Wolves typically rest during the afternoon. They’re pretty much the same color as the clay based soil here in the northern section of the Deep River Basin that Durham lies within. In fact, their brown and gray hued pelage blends in well with any natural landscape in the southeastern part of the country. And that is the problem, when the wolves are still, as they are when they’re resting, they’re hard to see.

Most of the time the two wolves are fairly close to each other when they nap. Lately the male has been favoring a cozy spot between two large Loblolly Pines near the top of the enclosure. The female is typically either directly above the male or above and to the right of him, but by no means is she always visible. There is a rut in the dirt along the fence at the top of the enclosure, when she lies down she often disappears within the rut with only her ears showing, if that.

Althouhgh in this shot the female is directly above the male, she often picks a spot to the right of the two trees.

The wolves don’t always choose these two spots to lie down, but these have been favorites of late. Occasionally the female will go into one of two dens (in the mound directly in front of the overlook) but she doesn’t stay long, maybe she’s sniffing out the den for possible future use later in the season.

It’s often a turn of the head that reveals the male’s position as he cozies up between the two pines.

The trees in the photo are located just to the right of center in the enclosure as viewed from the overlook.

The white box outlines the area in the top photo.

The best way to find the wolves, though, is to grab me (that’s me in the upper left of the blog). I can’t guarantee that I’ll locate both of them for you, but I’ll try.

Good luck!

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