Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shoo Fly! Don't bother ME!

During the warmer days and months, the red wolves often have fly strikes on their ears.  Because of this, we often place fly cream on the tips of their ears.  The two younger wolves are familiar with the procedure and don't seem to mind us working with them to cover the tips of their ears to relieve some of the discomfort the flies create.   They actually seem to enjoy the whole process.  I recently assisted in placing fly cream on the ears of the 2 younger red wolves that we have on display here at the Virginia Living Museum.  First, we set up the supplies so that we can access the items we need to place the cream on their ears. We have a paddle that has been created specifically for this purpose. The paddle is a large tongue depressor taped to a long dowel rod. On the paddle, we will place the fly cream in such a way that we can easily put it on their ears. 

Pink fly cream is placed on the end of the paddle in preparation for putting it on their ears.

Once we've gotten the fly cream and applicator set up, we go into the enclosure with the young wolves and confine them to the den while we apply the fly cream. Fortunately, they are very cooperative during this procedure.

This young wolf waits patiently while the fly cream is placed on his ears

a closer look reveals how the cream looks on the ears

Once the cream has been placed on the ears, we exit the holding area and get ready to let the young wolf out on exhibit with his new colorful look: 
getting ready to go
After the application process, the wolf goes out for the day to the exhibit. Although the fly cream may look a little odd, it helps to keep the ears covered and protected from the pesky flies.We will put fly cream on the wolves' ears a few times each week during the warm summer months.  During the cooler weather, the flies are not as active, so we don't need to place the fly cream quite as often. 

Time to play!