Welcome to our new e-newsletter. After 20 years we have made the decision to go electronic with our newsletter.Not only is it more environmentally friendly but with our sponsor family growing to over 6000 people, it costs us thousands of dollars every year to send out paper newsletters and that money could be put towards the care of the animals. Now we will be able to do more regular updates on the preserve without the additional cost. Plus if you are on social media you can also join our facebook page and see weekly updates about the preserve as well as photos and videos of the animals and the goings on at the preserve.
2017 started out with good and bad.The mild weather allowed us to remain open all winter long and we even had a record day for 20 years in business, in presidents day weekend it was 70 degrees out and over 300 people showed up for just 1 tour. It was crazy. Unfortunately the warm weather in the winter also cause a freak thunderstorm with winds up to 100 mph for a short 10 minutes. It was enough to knock down a tree taking out one of the fences in the fox enclosure.Our new fox Roxy who we had just recently rescued got out ran down one of the walkways between the enclosures and under a gate into a wolf enclosure. Needless to say she didn't make it out. We will never know why she chose this path when she could have gone a different way. We will forever be saddened by this tragic event, probably the worst that we have experienced in all our years.
On a more positive note our 24 yr old bobcat Santa started going blind with cataracts in both eyes. We did a fundraiser and were able to raise enough to get her surgery in one eye so she can see better. It was a long 4hour round trip each time to the specialist for all the pre and follow up visits and a few weeks of trying to get eye drops in her eye. Hard enough for a regular cat, a feisty bobcat even harder. I got it done and today still have all my fingers.
In May we celebrated the arrival of a new baby fox Becky named Ella. She has grown into a beautiful young lady.
In June Becky and our friend Kristen flew out to Montana and drove back with 2 wolf pups that needed a home. Unfortunately, upon arrival found that one of the pups had severe, physical, and developmental issues. Most places would have put down and animal with these problems and Becky feared for the worst with this little one, so she brought her home to see what we could do. I named her Sassa the viking word for divine beauty and Becky named her brother Cyrus. Cyrus is growing like a weed, like a normal wolf and today is as big as the adults and doing well at the preserve. Little Sassa was and still is a challenge, at 6 weeks old she couldn't even stand or walk and had crooked legs.For months Becky worked hard with her giving her physical therapy, energy healing, chiropractor visits, acupuncture, water therapy and many other treatments. Her legs have straightened and er eventually took her to a neurologist to see if they could come up with a diagnosis and after an MRI of her skull the determined that she is missing part of her brain. Today she has joined the arctic pack and is doing well. She has remained about half the size of the other wolves. Our daily challenge with her is getting her to eat. The Drs say that the part of her brain that is missing could be the part that tell her she is hungry.She is our special needs wolf and continues to challenge us.
We made it through a mild summer with lots of visitors, but when September came we were once again hit with sad times as we had to say good-bye to some of our old timers. Sierra the fox passed at 12yrs old and we had to say good-bye to 16yr old Nightsong, they will both be forever missed.
Pack dynamics change and the old leaders get overthrown. Nightongs brother is now the oldest also 16yrs and he could no longer hold onto his leadership of the pack. Sometimes an overthrow is easy and the alpha just drops down in the ranks and sometimes the younger are not so nice. This time the old man was getting picked on and couldn't defend himself so we decided to move him to our retirement community in the back so he now lives in an enclosure with our other older wolf Shilo and will be able to spend his remaining time in peace.
So far this winter season the foxes have predicted it correctly. Their fur coats have grown in fast and full predicting a cold winter. The last 2 weeks it has been the coldest it has been in 30 years. Daily temps in the single digits and windchills 20-30 below zero has made animal care at the preserve difficult.
As i write this little miss Ella the fox has recently injured her foot and is at home with us for a few days as she recovers. The weather is breaking and no longer below zero so she will be returned to her enclosure at the preserve after a check up with the Dr tomorrow.
Thank you all for joining our sponsor family and check back in i will hopefully be able to do monthly updates for you all.!!! Jim