A Special Treat
by Holly Payne
May 10, 2005
To us, a special treat may be ice cream or cookies. What would a special treat be for Mexican wolves 108 and 159 at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park? A special treat may be a mouse, a rat, a bone or even meat—but a very special treat would be a rabbit! We feed wolves 108 and 159 an exotic canine diet which looks like dry dog food but is made for animals such as wolves. They receive this diet every day.
In the wild, though, Mexican wolves capture and eat prey such as rabbits, smaller rodents, mule deer and elk. So, we like to include some natural prey items in the wolves’ diet as special treats. These items are not alive but still give the wolves much excitement! Wolf 159 likes to eat her mice and rats quickly, while wolf 108 carries hers around for a little while before eating them.
A few weeks ago Keeper Lance fed each wolf a rabbit. We were not sure how the wolves would react to this very special treat. Keeper Lance was off the next day, so Keeper Jeff cleaned the wolf exhibit. He did not find any leftovers, not even any hair! I guess Mexican wolves 108 and 159 enjoyed their special treat!
About the author:
Holly Payne is Animal Curator at the Living Desert Zoo
and Gardens State Park in Carlsbad, New Mexico
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