Announcement from Tony Haighway

It is with sadness we announce that two of our Wolves have recently died. Tilley who came to us almost a year ago and Callow who has been with us for many years.

Tilley and Rickon were involved in a dominance fight through the double fence separating their enclosures. Tilley broke  two strands of fence on his side allowing him to get his head through. Rickon bent the wire on his side allowing him the same access. Although there is a nine inch gap between the two, they were able to engage in a fight.

I was able to separate them and Rickon walked away shaking. Tilley was injured and despite every effort I was unable to contain him as he embedded himself in thick undergrowth and kept moving away.  There was little the vet could do and it became dark, even with torches I couldn’t locate him. At first light, I managed to crawl to him and extract him. By then he was not fully conscious. Despite best efforts by our vet he succumbed to his injuries.

Ten days later, although not involved in the confrontation, I found Callow curled up in her sleeping place, it appeared she had passed away whilst sleeping.

Having kept Wolves over a long period of time, the experience of loss holds some familiarity. Each Wolf resonates a mark of understanding about life and death. Like people, it’s what has happened in their lifetime that is important. Unfortunately, captivity controlled their lives, so the experiences that nature intended for them were reduced.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that much of their behaviour in captivity mirrors that which occurs in the wild.

The circumstances and timing surrounding the Loss of Tilley and Callow were sudden and unexpected in the sense. I believed double fencing would inhibit such an occurrence and that this behaviour (the augmentation of aggression between males) has never manifested itself until November onwards through to Spring when Cubs arrive and the hormonal situation settles.

For me, it is a lesson learned, that relates to the determination embedded in Wolves when they engage in such behaviours. Overcoming the almost heart stopping shock of discovering something you love is injured or dead can only be dealt with by moving forward. The care and respect is inherent, but I feel the loss must be accepted and regarded as the ‘Flip’ side of the good experiences, happiness and privilege that we have enjoyed in sharing their lives.

I am sorry to bring you this news.

With thanks,  Tony

10 thoughts on “Announcement from Tony Haighway”

  1. I had heard of Callows passing through email but had no idea you had lost Tilley before that. I meet them earlier in the year and i will never forget that day. So sorry for your loss.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear this news Tony. I feel very privileged to have met them both and to have given Callow some sardines when Me and Arlo came up with mum over the summer. They were such beautiful animals and I hope you can take some solace in the fact they had their last years in your wonderful care.
    Thinking of you.
    Jackie and Arlo.

    1. I would like to wholeheartedly agree with Jackie and Arlo’s comments Tony, and look forward to hearing about your next residents as and when they arrive ! Best wishes Sally and Tony Dingley

  3. I am so sorry to hear about the sad news. I was privileged to have met Tilly and Callow only a while ago. I fed them sardines and they liked the oil from my fingers. It was my first close encounter with a wolf. One which I will never forget.

  4. Heartbreaking. We so enjoyed meeting and feeding them. Nature is what it is but it hit me in the feels to learn the sad news.


  5. Dear Tony
    We were both devastated to hear the sad news about Tilly and Callow which we were privileged to meet earlier this year. They appeared to be such gentle and beautiful creatures and not what we expected of wild wolves. We were mesmerised by Callows piercing eyes and experiencing Tilly eating biscuits out of my hand was astonishing.
    It was wonderful to witness your obvious love and dedication in person and hear many of your cherished stories and memories . You are truly inspirational, it was a pleasure to meet you and the pack and we too now have incredible memories to reasure which without you , would not have been possible.
    Thank you for your kindness and heartfelt sympathy for your loss

  6. Hi Tony,
    Glad to see that you haven’t changed, and you are still enjoying life to the full.
    Hope you are keeping well and in good health. Hope to find you sometime soon.
    Sorry to hear of your sad loss.
    Best Wishes from a voice from the past.
    Fred T

  7. Hello Tony, Steve and Trisha Harkin , we met you many years ago through Steve Norman , we have recently moved to flee hill, would be so good to see you again .

  8. Dear Tony
    My heart ripped when I read this.
    But what you have done and achieved for the wolves is amazing and selfless.
    I remember many years ago listening to you in the pub talking about your wolves at Bentley.
    Amazing mate.

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