Monday, 10 May 2010

A Second Chance...

Just a few months ago we were shown footage from the local zoos of a set of wolves showing extreme streotypical behaviour. This included throwing themselves from wall to wall within their enclosures, pacing one specific line within the enclosure hour after hour, and also the fear and panic at the sight of anyone approaching them was all too apparent. This is all caused by stress enduced by maltreatment and confinement.

In January 2010 these seven wolves were confiscated from the zoos and began their road to recovery. We, at the New Hope Centre, have been fortunate enough to have been a part of that recovery. Watching these animals learn to trust, watching them learn to play, their joy at having food provided daily, and watching the knots of stress in their bodies fall away as they basked in piles of straw in the sun. Their recovery was so succesful that it was seen as time to release them into a larger enclosure allowing them to live as natural a life as possible and form their own pack.

A location was chosen for the pack and work quickly commenced, and within a short time we were ready...

After a final check of the enclosure and the finishing touches, the wolves arrived and we gathered for the release, anxious to see how they would react to their new home. The first to be released was Bint Awa, who wasted no time at all and once her crate was opened ran clear to the end of the enclosure and disappeared between the trees.
The rest were then released and one by one they disappeared off to explore their new environment. Jack took his time to leave the safe confines of his crate, but in the end Lucy came back to check on him and managed to coax him out, much to our relief and delight!

We watched with pleasure as the wolves ran around, hardly able to contain their own joy at being able to run, the feeling of earth beneath their feet, the trees high above them. They were able to hide if they so wished or come out to say hello; our main aim was to provide an area for them to live as safely and as close to how they were born to as we possibly could. Watching them we knew we had achieved our aim...
We left the pack that evening with a warm glow in our hearts, knowing that we would forever remember how, what to us may seem like such a small thing, such as space, freedom, company and respect; to others means a second chance at life...

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