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Luna

LunaWe acquired Luna in April of 2012 as a 20 day old pup.  Shortly after her arrival, we noticed that she had some mobility issues.  After she suffered an injury from what should have been an non-event for a healthy pup, we discovered that she had a bone density issue that may be related to a vitamin D deficiency. She had surgery to repair her injury at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital at a month of age and started nutritional supplements specially designed for her needs.  To this day, she takes daily supplements for this deficiency.

Luna is representative of the Great Plains subspecies and is a black color phase, which is believed to be found in less than 5% of the population in Minnesota. Luna was introduced to the Exhibit Pack in July of 2012 and spent 4 years as the dominant (and only) female in the Exhibit Pack.  She had an intensity that was heightened during the weekly carcass feedings, but also when she showed vulnerability within the pack.  When the 2016 pups were adopted, we noticed Luna’s intensity increase and were concerned about potential defensive behavior towards the pups.  After consultation with the Center’s veterinarian, it was decided to transition Luna out of the Exhibit pack giving time to  assess Luna’s physical limitations and determine if there may be underlying issues causing her defensive behavior.  She is currently receiving additional care and feeding protocols in retirement and just recently joined our other retired wolf, Grizzer.  They both have access to the 3 enclosures including the “East Side Retirement”, the “Back Habitat” and the “Pack Holding Area”.  There is a webcam currently focused on the Pack Holding Area that closest to the wolf yard and the center of activity on site.

For more information on our ambassador wolves, watch extended wolf videos on the International Wolf Center’s YouTube Channel or enjoy a close-up of wolf behavior on our Wolf Watch Cams.

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Recent Logs for Luna:

Luna looking to engage Grizzer Photo by Wolf Care Staff

Luna – Double Coat System Protects From Winter Snows

November 9th, 2017

We got our first snow during the week prior to Halloween, and it is still around. The past couple of days saw temperatures plunge to single digits for the first time this fall/winter. Luna’s winter coat is definitely keeping her warm and she is very active. Luna continues to appear to enjoy daily interactions with wolf care staff, and is very social with Grizzer.

Luna often takes in her surroundings with a higher vantage point. Photo by Lynn Kaveney

Luna And The Last Of The Fall Colors

October 12th, 2017

This week’s log was submitted by Wolf Photography Weekend Participants Ken Kaveney, Lynn Kaveney, Anthony Brewer.

Luna was relaxed during the Behind the Scenes program. She seemed content on the top of the den enjoying treats from the curator. Luna continues to engage in social behaviors with Grizzer in the retirement areas.

Luna's shows good muscle development as she starts to develop her winter undercoat.

Luna- Middle Age Gray

September 1st, 2017

Luna is showing good muscle tone as her winter undercoat begins to grow.  At the age of 5, her muzzle is starting to gray similar to MacKenzie’s, a female of similar pelage from our 1993 litter.  Luna is maintaining a weight of about 103 – 105 lbs.  While we would like to get her weight under 100 lbs., this is not the season to attempt this.  As winter approaches, she definitely needs resources to help her through the colder weather.  We are watching for additional signs of aging that may affect her joints.  In this photo, her back right hip has some play socket that is noticeable while she is sitting.  While it may be subtle now, these are the details that need to be scrutinized as Luna ages.

Weight: 105.4

Luna enjoying a pig's ear.

Luna- Treats Are Guarded

August 2nd, 2017

Luna was very relaxed with the participants from the Wolf Ethology class and even got on the scale with everyone sitting by the pup holding area.  Luna’s current weight is 106.4 lbs.  Luna looks good and we  continue to work on getting/keeping her at a good weight.  Although, I am not sure Luna has bought into the whole “diet” idea.  Just like the other wolves, Luna gets an enrichment.  The log picture shows her guarding a pig ear, which she gets once a month.  Luna also participated in the Mirror Self Recognition Test. She has been very receptive to body work and her mobility and tail posturing has shown a markable improvement.  Just to be clear, Luna’s issues are not just her femur, she has much greater concerns than the plate on her leg that has healed a long time ago.  The lack of  formation of her femoral head impacts many aspects of her physical condition, but she definitely seems like she feels more comfortable and is able to relax comfortably in the enclosure.   One thing that has not improved is Axel’s attitude toward Luna when he passes her in holding.  Axel displays a full hackle, growl and tail arousal when he passess Luna.  He hasn’t forgotten the events of a year ago.  

Weight: 106.4

Luna in full relaxation mode

Luna – Looking Great And Feeling Good

July 19th, 2017

We haven’t gotten a new weight on Luna since the June 30th – 105 pound measurement, but she’s looking great, has shed her entire undercoat except at her neck and most important, she is feeling good.  We plan to weigh her again on August 2nd when we weigh the yearlings (on their birthday) .  She has really taken to the new bodywork techniques we learned this past month and we’ve never seen her so relaxed.  She is extremely excited to greet staff in the mornings and both she and Grizzer weight at the Pack Holding Area window while staff prepare their morning meatballs.  It’s been a good summer for wolves, cool temperatures and not much humidity.   It’s not the heat, but the humidity that makes things challenging, especially for wolves with some joint discomfort.