野性的关怀

首先接触的是保护区的所有者吉姆·斯坦 Dr. 忠实的 to serve as the preserve’s veterinarian when it opened in the late 1990s. “I’ve now worked with the 拉科塔狼保护’s animals for 20 years,” states Dr. 忠实的. “Currently, the preserve serves as home to mostly wolves, but also foxes, a bobcat and a lynx.” 

吉姆, 和他的妻子兼养狼伙伴贝基·梅斯, 管理保护区,每天与狼群互动, 所以他们让博士. 利尔知道他们是否担心任何动物. 

“The wolves are a challenge to treat, it’s not like treating a dog,” notes Dr. 忠实的. “为了照顾狼群, 有时电竞菠菜把药物和镇静剂和他们的食物混在一起, or we have to sedate the wolves using a dart gun because the wolves are very wary of being caught.” 

一旦镇静, 他们把狼带到电竞菠菜诊所做血检, 疫苗, x-rays or ultrasounds—the staff does as much as it can while the wolves are sedated.

由于这种照顾,狼在笼子里活得更长. “狼群在保护区受到了很好的照顾, 而野外的狼没有兽医照顾,博士说. 忠实的. “We spay and neuter the wolves at Lakota like we would do with any other dogs. 它们的寿命大约是15年.” 

这一切是如何开始的

When 吉姆 was a little kid, he wanted to move to Africa and save the cheetahs! Then real life took over and he worked as a mechanic at General Motors for 16 years. “Then I met someone who owned a wolf preserve in Colorado who was looking for someone to take in the wolves,”吉姆解释说. “So, 我辞职了, 在新泽西租了块地供狼群居住, and I sold my house so I could purchase fencing for the property.” 

吉姆建造保护区设施的时候, his now-wife Becky who lived nearby volunteered to help him put up fencing—joining this lifetime adventure! “We have one daughter, Emily who’s now 28 years old, who we kid was raised by wolves,” shares 吉姆. “当她来看我的时候, the wolves all come to the fence and jump up because she’s like a sibling to them.”

当这块土地在1998年准备好围栏的时候, 吉姆 brought the 18 wolves that were previously living in Colorado to the land in 新泽西. They did their best to create a natural environment for the adult wolves in the forested land. They chose the name Lakota because it means friend, or alliance of friends. The preserve isn’t associated with the Lakota Native American tribe, also known as the Teton Sioux.

“自从电竞菠菜开业以来,电竞菠菜已经照顾了51只狼,”吉姆解释道. “We’ve had as many as 27 at one time, but today we have 15 wolves living here. 随着它们的经过和新幼崽的到来,幼崽的数量会波动.”

和狼生活在一起

Lakota serves as home to grey wolves: timber, tundra, artic and British Columbian. 贝基还照顾住在那里的四只狐狸, one bobcat and one lynx that arrived together and are best friends—growing up together as young animals.

狼吃纯天然的食物. 吉姆 and Becky pick up road kill along the highways in the area. 他们还喂它们鸡, 猎人把肉捐赠给保护区, 有时他们会收到美国农业部捐赠的肉类. 
 

Becky and 吉姆 are accepted as part of the packs as most wolves arrive as babies, 他们只有在年轻的时候才被接受. “当一只新的小狼崽到来的时候, we first quarantine the pup at our house for two months in a separate enclosure that meets the federal government’s requirements,”吉姆解释说. “在那里,电竞菠菜会监测它的健康状况,让狗狗医生检查它. 它接受疫苗接种. After two months at the house enclosure, we move the pup to the preserve.”

吉姆 and Becky assess a new pup’s disposition and choose one of the four wolf packs they feel will accept the young pup. “I will then build an enclosure inside one of the enclosures that’s separate for protection,”吉姆解释说. “狼群对新成员非常兴奋! Sniffing around the fenced enclosure that holds the pup alone and safe, 这能帮助狼群适应新成员吗. If all is OK, I’ll put the pup on a leash and do a walk through the larger enclosure. If I feel like it’s still OK, I’ll release the pup to live with the chosen pack.” 

持续的电竞菠菜护理

Because the wolves live in packs with alpha males and beta females, 自然会有决定职位和等级的斗争. 日常接触, Becky and 吉姆 know if something’s wrong with one of the wolves and when the time’s right to contact Dr. 利尔,吉姆认为他是个了不起的外科医生. 

As the alpha gets older, the younger wolves challenge the male. 一次争夺统治权的争斗导致了狼的气管被压碎, which is the worst medical situation they’ve encountered so far. 他们求助于. 为了救狼,里尔不得不做手术. “Two young wolves were fighting and one tore out the trachea of the alpha wolf,” explains Dr. 忠实的. “I performed emergency surgery and the wolf lived another 2-1/2 years after the surgery.”
 
In the wild, overtaken wolves are driven out of the territory. 在保存, sometimes 吉姆 and Becky have to build a new enclosure for a wolf that was driven out and find it a new companion.

吉姆 says they also monitor the eating patterns for each wolf in their care. “If wolves won’t eat on the second day, we know something’s wrong,” states 吉姆. “They try to hide when something’s wrong; it’s a survival thing. 为了保护自己,他们隐藏了自己的感情.”
 
“The owners first share photos with us at the clinic if there’s a concern,博士说. 忠实的, “and we talk about treatment options, working on prevention first. I love working with the wolves, foxes and bobcats—they’re all beautiful creatures. But I did discover that bobcats are the one species that I’m allergic to. 我眼睛发痒,还打喷嚏!”

对狼人的一生承诺

吉姆 says the hardest part of running the preserve is the weather. “在下雨和暴风雪期间, we have to sleep in our cars to watch for trees falling down and damaging the 9-foot fencing around each enclosure. Hurricane Sandy was the worst storm so far when nine trees fell. 狼也很紧张. They ran and paced with us as we were checking the fencing—following along. 现在对电竞菠菜所有人来说都是压力很大的时候.”

Becky and 吉姆 plan to keep working for ten more years and then retire. “电竞菠菜一周工作七天,”吉姆总结道. “电竞菠菜为这些人奉献了一生.”

To learn more about 拉科塔狼保护 and support the animals that inhabit the natural land, 点击这里. 你也可以参加导赏教育及摄影旅行团, 在脸书和Instagram上关注拉科塔.

照片由摄影师吉姆 Stein提供.

“Becky and 吉姆 plan to keep working for ten more years and then retire. “电竞菠菜一周工作七天,”吉姆总结道. “电竞菠菜为这些人奉献了一生.””