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 wind chills 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
Not much to report in February it went easy on us, the weather cooperated and we were able to stay open for most of the month. Ella's foot continued to heal so we built a smaller enclosure inside of the large fox enclosure so she could continue to heal at the preserve and be around Jasper. After another week or so she was completely healed and we released her back into her home. Jasper is very happy to have her back home.
March came in and really took its toll on us. Starting on the 2nd with a major nor easter all the way until the end of the month. The snow storms were some of the worst we have had in many years.this storm the winds were so bad we had 9 trees come down on the fencing. The worst was a tree that flattened 2 fences between the arctic and timber enclosures.In the beginning of the storm we decided to bring little miss Sassa home to a safe enclosure at our house.Luckily we did because when the tree took down those fences it gave the 2 packs access to each others' enclosure. Timber wolf RIver decided to go into the arctics' enclosure and since wolves are extremely territorial it could have been a fight to the death. If sassa was still in the enclosure it could have been a disaster. SO in the middle of the blizzard Becky and i spent most of the night cutting trees and fixing fencing while having to walk through a foot of snow. Fences needed to be repaired before we could focus on River. Our saving grace was our daughter and her boyfriend who made a 3 hour trip in the blizzard to help us at the preserve. When the storm cleared it had caused severe damage to our whole part of the state and it would be 2 weeks before we could get power and phone back. After the storm passed and we repaired the fencing we could focus on getting River back to hi own enclosure. Luckily with the stress of the storm the arctics had left him alone but as things calmed down they now wanted this intruder out of their territory and the fighting began!
It is extremely difficult to tranquilize a healthy, scared wolf in a 3 acre wooded enclosure that does not want to be caught. But that day Becky was able to get the job done and we were able to move him back to his home before any serious injuries happened. It would be a long time recovering from this storm as 3 more major nor'easters a total of 4 in a row would hit us before the month was over. The winter never seemed to go away as it stayed cold and dreary for the rest of march and April. We were finally able to reopen for business for public tours and even run a few group photo sessions with the Tamron lens company.
In April we had to say good-bye to another one of our old timers at the preserve. Our old lady Santa "claws" the bobcat came to the end of her time with us. She was 24yrs old and had started having trouble breathing. A trip to see Dr Leal revealed a mass in her body cavity that was causing fluid to build up around her heart and lungs. We decided to give it a try to have the fluid removed and start her on some new mads to see if it would help. She got another week of life with her brother bobby and us and some nice weather to enjoy before the fluid built up and she started having trouble again. When she stopped eating we knew it was her time and we decided with no way to treat her illness it was her time. We brought her to the vet and Becky held her as we helped her along. She will be greatly misses at the preserve. Her Brother Bobby is the last of the animals we started the preserve with 20 years ago and he is now 24 years old.
May has started and already looks like the weather is going to be rough. We are without power again as a tornado hit locally. We were spared at the preserve with no damage the mountain protected us! We celebrated the 1st birthday of Sassa and her brother Cyrus, they have both grown into beautiful friendly young wolves and we are so lucky to have them as part of our pack!
Boy it has been a wet year so far, last 4 weeks...rain! With only a hint of sun once in a while. This has caused some soggy conditions but all are doing well. We had to say good-bye to another old timer, sadly timber wolf Shilo reached the end of her time with us. She was going on 15yrs old and developed degenerative mylopothy, she lost the feelings in her hind quarters. This is a common ailment for german sheppards and in all honesty even though her paperwork stated she was a pure breed wolf we have always had our suspicions that she was a hybrid, which could be the reason for her coming down with this. It was a difficult one because there is no treatment for this problem and even though her mind, appetite and the rest of her was good she could not live in a wooded enclosure dragging herself along causing wounds to her legs. So we had to make that very difficult decision to help her along and ease the suffering. She was a wonderful wolf and will be missed so much. With her passing Teeko was left alone and is still going strong at almost 17yrs old. He developed some swelling in hes face so we needed to have him visit the vet. Turns out he had 2 bad teeth that had to be removed and we then moved him into a new enclosure with Rain the timber female that had to be separated for fighting. The 2 of them get along great and it might be what is keeping the old man going, a new younger girlfriend and a new home!.
I took advantage of an empty enclosure was able to cut down 19 dead trees, we had volunteers come for a clean up day and cleaned out the enclosure. Our goal is to always give the wolves as much room as possible so the plan is to finish this enclosure and move Luna and Khuno in from theirs since this one is larger, then we will connect their old to the enclosure Rain and Teeko's are in so they have more room.
Sassa is doing great, with her disabilities and no plans to breed her, it is actually healthier to have the females spade. Less chance of tumors, cysts or cancers. So little miss Sassa was spade and has fully recovered and is a happy little girl.
We had some great pieces done on the preserve one by Tamron lens company they came out and did a video shoot featuring one of their new lenses and NJ.com did an internet video featuring the preserve and the following week we had a banner week with visitors who found out about the preserve from the video.
On June 3rd for the first time in the 20 years we have been doing this we took one of the animals from the preserve for an event. It was a private event we hosted at the winery, a fundraiser for the preserve and we set up a large enclosure for Sassa and had a Dinner with Sassa fundraiser! It went great and we raised some funds to help the preserve.
Some exciting news, we have 2 new editions to the preserve. A baby Canadian Lynx named Logan after the biggest mountain in Canada mt Logan. And a baby bobcat Becky named Sienna. With Bobby, the last of our original bobcats, going on 25yrs old we decided to bring in a few new cats to continue our educational programs. They were both born in captivity one in Montana and one in Tennessee. So it was a lot of traveling for Becky and Emily to get these guys here. Bobby is slowing down and sleeps a lot so these active little guys will bring some excitement to the preserve. Hard part is i need to redo all the fencing in the bobcat enclosure. Sadly our other cats had been declawed by previous owners, we will not be declawing these guys so all the fencing has to be higher, bigger cantilevers and trees trimmed up and coned so they can't climb out. We have been super busy with visitors so i only get a chance to focus on these other projects once in a while. The new cats are still way too small to be at the preserve so they will be staying with Becky and i till they are a little bigger. The plan is to put them at the preserve a little later in the fall.
In trying to keep with the times my daughter Emily has helped us set up an instagram account so now you can see updates and photos and videos about the preserve on facebook and instagram.
Sorry i have been away for a while, so much going on, August flew by and was the busiest we have ever had with over 100 people on most of the tours, even during the week.
For the 20 years we have been here we have always seen porcupines but never in the enclosure before. That changed in late august when Ardan and Cyrus decided it would be fun to try to eat one that got into their enclosure. It was during a wolf watch which made it worse because there were 100 people there. Luckily our volunteer Janet took over the tour while Becky and i Quickly sedated them and rushed them to the hospital. A few hours later and tons of quills removed from their mouths, tongues and legs they were back at the preserve and hopefully they have learned their lesson.
We had to say good-bye to our volunteer that had been with us for 3 years Janet Pascoe but she got a job in town so we see her once in a while. We have been getting help with a new volunteer Al DeYoung, he fits in well and has been a big help. Our instagram account doing great and it is fun to post photos and updates on something other than facebook.
September was just as wet as the rest of the year and caused some difficult problems.For those who dont know, our British Colombian wolf Kayla went paralyzed in the back end 2 years ago. None of the Drs could figure out why all they could tell us is she would never walk again. Becky suggested acupuncture and after treating her for 2 1/2 months we got her right leg and tail back. She has been running with her brother and sister ever since.We tried many treatments and therapies but could never get the last leg back. After 2 years we noticed her spine twisting from the extra unused weight. It was decided the best thing for her would be amputation. She had the procedure done but it was a difficult recovery for her and Becky. She had to be away from her pack as running through a wooded enclosure would not be good for her stitches.we had to keep her calm and dry. Was put into the hospital enclosure attached to her main enclosure for recovery.The problem was the rain! It just wouldn't stop! She refused to go into her shelter so we had to try to put tarps above her to block the rain but it was no use it was a mess.Dr leal do a great job and they held even though they were constantly wet for a few days. Becky never left her side even in the pouring rain. She even slept there with Kayla a few nights completely dedicated to helping Kayla get through this! Kayla had totally recovered and is doing great.
Soon after that another major problem. While the kittens Logan and Sienna we running and playing, somehow they managed to knock over a secured cat tree and it must have fallen on Logan because he broke his leg. We rushed him to Dr Leal and of course with our luck it was a clean break but in a bad spot. So close to the joint that it could not be plated or screwed for a quick recovery. The only thing they could do was to put a cast on it and we had to keep him calm and quiet for 9 weeks. A very difficult thing to do with a baby Lynx. Let me tell you it was a very Loooong 9 weeks. We built a custom cage so he could get around and exercise but had a low top so he couldnt jump.Cleaning the cage 3 times a day (or more), Cast changed every week and all the extra work wore us out. But he was a trooper, he never complained or got nasty and has now fully recovered. We are in the process of introducing them to their new home at the preserve. With the cats being young and having their claws we had to remodel the entire enclosure. It had to be 10 feet high and 3 foot cantilever. It took few months of early mornings and late nights but i got it done. A special thanks to Airside Sheet Metal in Andover NJ. They donated a bunch of custom made sleeves for the trees and housing unit posts to keep the cats from climbing.
We took in a rescue red fox that was at a rehabber. It had neurological problems and couldnt be put into the wild. We wanted to give it a chance to have a nice enclosure to live in with some companions with our foxes. We took her on knowing there was vet work to do but unfortunately it didnt turn out so well. The only way to get a diagnosis and a plan to help the little girl was to get an MRI of the brain and it was $4500. We paid the bill with hoes we could help but it was worse than we thought. It was a degenerative brain problem and wit her condition she was not able to metabolize the meds and she passed. The neurologist said that it was for the best as this condition caused the animal to be in constant pain ad it would have only gotten worse.We were very saddened we really hoped we could help the little thing.
We are trying again with another rescue fox this one was found in the wild and brought to a facility with severe mange.He appears to be an albino red fox and has spent the last 3 years in a cage with a wire bottom. So we hope to give him a good place to live with some companions.Becky has named him Boo and he has been with us for a month now. He was recently released into the Lynx enclosure next the our foxes and for the first time in 3 years he is able to run and play in the leaves and snow.Hopefully he will get along with the other 2 foxes and we can introduce them soon.
Winter had held off until now and he had some banner days with visitors just after Christmas with over 300 people on 2 of the tours. But it recently hit us hard and we had some of the coldest weather we have ever seen. A few days we had wind chills if 20-30 below zero. The animals did fine, Becky and i were freezing!!