Corinna Kratz

March - November
Contact corinna.kratz@stud.uni-goettingen.de
University Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
With us since June 2014
Favourite animal at the WSC Aragorn, Yukon & Enzi
Favourite howling Yukon & Wamblee
Companion Zazu

I just finished my undergraduate studies in Biology when I started my internship at the WSC in summer 2014 and I wanted to gain some practical experiences in working with wolves and dogs on a scientific basis. But I got way more! At the moment I study Behavioral Biology at the university in Göttingen and I only had one goal: Return to the WSC! 

Dogs are one of the most important things in my life. With them every moment is more beautiful. I call myself very lucky because I had the chance to grow up with dogs and experience all their love. But I always had one question when I sat on the couch in the evenings cuddling my dogs. Whom do I owe my luck? How could pet dogs develop from wolves? What connects them, what distinguishes between them? And how did humans and wolves get together? Why do humans feel so close to wolves? Wolves fascinate me! Their highly social character, their calmness, their strength, simply their whole nature! Therefore, I was so happy to be accepted for an internship at the WSC. In the beginning, I was a little bit afraid of leaving home for so long but that feeling disappeared immediately when I entered that magical place. I knew I arrived. It may sound strange but I felt like I belong. Did you ever hear a wolf howl? One of my favorite moments at the WSC occurred on a paid walk. Amarok started howling a meter away from me. My whole body oscillated and I couldn’t breathe. It was literally breath-taking! 

During my time at the WSC I had two projects. On the one hand, I investigated risk taking behavior in wolves and dogs. It was great to work so close with the animals. I had the opportunity to get to know all the animals. They really have individual characters which fascinated and impressed me at the same time! It was amazing to see how the animals get excited when they see you entering the test enclosure with the apparatus and of course food (especially Yukon, she loves sausage). On the other hand, I took one of Laylas puppies –Zazu- home with me. He still searched for a new home when I began my internship and very quickly he found a way into my heart. He was 9 weeks old when we met and since then we belong together. He is my one and only and I always be grateful to have him. 

Since two weeks, I’m back at the WSC to work on my master thesis. For the next 9 months, I will work on the “string-pulling” experiment, which investigates cooperative behavior in wolves and dogs. My work will focus on whether wolves and dogs are able to cooperate with a human partner. I’m very excited to start the project. I’m looking forward to an incredible time at the WSC and I’m very glad to be back.