Wolf Physicals (and Transfer) Complete

Things went great Monday getting our red wolf family caught up, checked out, and transferred to NY.

The catch-up was similar to our September catch-up. (Everyone wore gray for this catch… last catch we wore more blue). We learned a lot in September and made appropriate changes in the plan. We added bodies in our wall; had extra people blocking weak spots, and used windscreen instead of tarps for easier manipulation. Numerous meetings and discussions and equipment checks took place ahead of time. All our prep work paid off as we had every single wolf in a crate 31 minutes after entering the exhibit.

Keepers Sarah and Chris move a wolf to the van while others prepare to move the rest of the family
Keepers Janine and Sarah load the last crate into the van with Sarah’s guidance

We did our final health checks in the building as it was easier to be close to all our equipment and regular work areas. The two adults needed their annual physical (vaccines, rabies, blood-work, etc.) and we wanted to check out everyone before departure.

The weights, as usual for me, were of great interest. As usual, pup #3 was the largest at 25 Kg and pup # 2 was the smallest at 17 Kg. She is still about 30% smaller than him and always has been.The other two pups were similar, as usual, to each other at  22.05 kg and 21.75 kg.

Dr. Harrison was in charge of getting blood from every wolf. Dr. Vanderford was pushing fluids in this photo, while Katy got temps and Sarah and I secured the wolf.

We did not sedate any of the wolves. We quickly got them from the crate, put a muzzle on, and covered their head for sensory deprivation. Our goal was 10 minutes or less on the table for each wolf… and we were pretty successful.

Dr. Vanderford looking in the ear of one of our wolves.

In addition to the routine items of a physical, we collected samples for several research studies. A team from NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine was on grounds to help out and do eye exams on all the wolves for a research project on Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).

A close up look at the left eye of one of our wolves
member of the NCSU CVM Ophthalmology Team assessed all 12 eyes.

Blood samples were sent off for banking in Arkansas; mouth swabs went to Raleigh for a genetic study; fecal samples were sent to DC for Irritable Bowel Disease research; and the team from NCSU took blood samples along with their eye checks for their work.

Sarah and Katie were on the team (with Aaron and I) who muzzled, held and crated each wolf. If you weren’t holding a wolf on the table, you were cleaning the crate and prepping it for transfer.

We were done and on the road close to 11:00 AM, and we were offloading our wolf family to their new home at the Wolf Conservation Center around 9:00 PM. Head to their website as the family can be seen on one of the webcams. The family is doing great in their new home so far and I am sure this will continue.


2 responses to Wolf Physicals (and Transfer) Complete

  1. Susan says:

    Thank you all for your dedication and hard work taking care of the red wolves. I visited them several times this year and will miss them. Although, it is not the same, it is nice to see them on the webcam in New York. Best of luck with the new duo.

    • Sherry Samuels says:

      Thanks Susan, we appreciate your kind words. We miss our wolf family as well.

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