A silent easter at the WSC

Léa Burgarella (Intern)



Ok, I’ll admit it, the title is a bit misleading. The Wolf Science Center doesn’t really stay silent for long. The wolves howl, and whine in excitement when a wolf from another pack gets close, or one of the trainers, with the implicit promise of food, fun, and pets! The dogs do their part too. They join the howls ! And despite our best efforts to teach them not to, bark at us when we walk past or towards them. Food, fun and pets are a thing for them too, and they let us know they want it.

Like for everything else at the WSC : the dogs and the wolves are treated the same way.
Of course, that means pets are submitted to many rules. One does not simply pet a wolf. So one does not simply pet a WSC dog !

But I digress. We were talking about noises. The WSC has many flavors of them. Lately though, there was one that was simply not there anymore : the public. On one hand, as a non-scientific intern, it makes my job easier. One less thing to worry about while I carry food for the wolves around, or I learn to walk the dogs, something that we need to learn how to do here. It makes it easier to discover the world of animal training. On another hand, my discovery of some parts of animal-keeping is on hold. And beyond just me, so are some missions of the WSC. Some ongoing research focuses on our animal’s reactions to the public, and on the public reaction to the animals. It’s also quite hard to educate a public that is not here about wolves and dogs ! 

Mostly though, it simply gives a different atmosphere. Not necessarily better, or worse, just different.

One where all the other sounds of the WSC and the Wildpark Ernstbrunn become amplified. The wolves and dogs, but also the birds enjoying the opportunity to get free food that our four-legged coworkers forgot or didn’t like. Our boar and mouflon neighbors from the wildpark.

A different atmosphere, that is maybe simply more wild !