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

Wolf Night – October 20th

Our friends at Paradise Wildlife Park are hosting their annual Wolf Night. Tony will be there providing an update on our wolves and what’s been happening at Wolf Watch over the past 12 months.

The whole team is looking forwards to catching up with old friends and new. Please show your support to Paradise Wildlife Park who continue to help us with the ongoing care of Anja.

Hopefully see a few of you there!

Wolf Watch needs your urgent support!

Our planning application for the erection of replacement building to provide a short-stay lodge/educational facility (Kgosi Lodge), has been submitted to Shropshire Council. We are asking for your support of our application by going to Shropshire Councils planning portal and expressing your support for our proposed educational centre.

Please copy and paste this link into your browser and register with the Council which will then allow you to log into the planning portal in order to leave your comment:

After registering the application number to search is 18/01628

We would greatly appreciate receiving your support as this project forms a major part of our plans for a sustainable future for Wolf Watch UK, and so allowing us to continue to provide for the welfare of the current and future wolves in our care.

Time is limited and the public consultation period expires on 15 May 2018, so your immediate attention to our cause is requested.

New Educational Lodge

All at Wolf Watch UK would like to express our sincere gratitude to Severn Oak Timber Frames, Roger Coy Partnership and ListersGeo for their ongoing help and support with our project to build a lodge / educational facility overlooking the sanctuary.

http://Severn Oak Timber Frames Read the full article via at:

Madadh 16.4.99 – 30.10.17

“So dawn goes down today, nothing gold can stay”
Luke Smith, one of our long term volunteers, quoted this from a beautiful poem by Robert Frost.
It speaks volumes about the cycles of nature, but also reflects on loss and that nothing, especially the best, can last forever.
It’s hugely appropriate in describing the reality of losing Madadh.
Along with her brother Kgosi, Madadh arrived at Wolf Watch almost 19 years ago at the tender age of 8 days.
They were small bundles of fur mainly solid black in colour just a hint of brown around their heads.
When not asleep, their only purpose in life was to suck milk formula from a tiny bottle with a ferocity that gave meaning to the word ‘survival.’
Their eyes had not yet opened, so, for better or worse, some 4 days later I featured prominently in their first glimpse of the outside world.
Small milky blue eyes showed little recognition or focus, but the search for milk was relentless and eased quietly to a standstill only after capacity was reached and a swollen undercarriage radiated contentment and the passage into sleep was complete.
I doubt that any prediction of how Madadh and her brother was to affect my life in the years to follow could have contained a great deal of accuracy.
On reflection, it could be summed up in a few words:
‘Nothing else could have delivered the depth of pleasure that the sum of experiences of being around them gave to me.’
‘It’s been a privilege to have shared in their lives.’
Madadh was an exceptional Wolf. Whilst always her own Boss, she was also the most socialised example of her species that I have ever met or heard of.
She loved meeting people. The mutual excitement of Wolf and Human at the point of greeting, was mirrored in their faces and as I write this
the volume of messages and expressions of sadness at her passing, indicates the depth of feeling and the extent to which she touched so many people’s lives.
I, along with so many others, will miss her greatly.
Thank You for all you support, without which Wolf Watch would not exist.

Wolf Night Paradise Wildlife Park 2017

Please help show your support for Paradise Wildlife Parks Wolf Night on Saturday 21st October 2017.  Tony will be a guest speaker providing an update on Anja who was re-homed from Paradise due to a pack dispute with her brother and sister.

Paradise Wildlife Park has continued to support Anja and Wolf Watch UK in general, special thanks go to Lyn and Pia.

Fun Dog Show in Aid of Wolf Watch UK

A massive thank you to Honley Dog Club and Rivos Kennels for organising a fun dog show last weekend. Raising £285 which they have generously donated to Wolf Watch UK. The funds will go towards helping care for our wolves and purchase plenty sardines for Anja!!

Special mentions to Jean, Doreen, Pam, Kate and Rosie (those biscuits look absolutely delicious!)


Carol and Arthur Rivers from Rivos Kennels & swim gym.

Thank you all that attended and made the event such a success!! 🐺

The Guardian Article

Wolves are crucial for maintaining a healthy ecosystem — a fact that was conveniently forgotten when they were exterminated from almost all of the continental United States by ranchers, farmers, trappers and hunters.

Meanwhile, the populations of other animals exploded. The entire ecosystem of the American wilderness was changed by rapidly expanding populations of large ungulates.

After decades of political wrangling with those who traditionally persecuted wolves, conservation biologists and activists who supported restoration of wolves finally prevailed: the grey wolf, Canis lupus, was finally reintroduced several areas in the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. One of those release areas was Yellowstone National Park. Subadult wolves from several packs in Alberta’s Mackenzie Valley were captured using tranquilizer darts and released in Yellowstone in January 1995 and again in January 1996.

Credit: The Guardian, GrrlScientist – an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology and ecology, especially in birds.

Kgosi – 16/4/99 to 23/5/17

Dear Members and Friends,

I have the saddest news, but also in a way I am trying to feel positive about it.

Yesterday afternoon. we lost Kgosi.

He appeared to have been drinking from the shallow part of the stream when he collapsed and died.

A stroke in 2015 had left Kgosi both blind and deaf.

Following treatment from our brilliant vet Lloyd Jones and aftercare by ourselves, Kgosi’s determination to live won the day to regain physical fitness and in addition, hold together the dignity and respect entirely suited to his unique character, that of a dominant, intelligent and magnificent male Wolf.

Equal to the surprise of his recovery was the role undertaken by his sister Madadh who recognised her brother’s disabilities and took it upon herself to act as a ‘Guide Dog.’

She assisted him around their enclosure for a period of some six months until familiarity was restored and with the use of scent he regained his independence.

At the age of 18 years he was one of the oldest Wolves in existence and therefore it was not difficult to recognise that age had finally caught up with him.

Having originated from Port Lyme zoo in Kent, he and his sister were part of an unplanned litter of Canadian Wolves and the Zoo had put a great deal of effort into finding a good alternative home for them.

Arriving here at eight days old the pair slept with me in a sleeping bag on the kitchen floor for the first two months of their life. Bottle feeding them every two hours was both a rewarding and exhausting experience.

In the eighteen years that followed it is impossible to recollect the memories of pleasure and sometimes pain that both animals have taken part in.

There are so many stories.

The certainty rising above all else though, is the Privilege it has been to have played a part in their lives.

Our priority now is to take care of Madadh, old age is apparent and some illness has also taken its toll.

She has shared an enclosure with Kgosi for 18 years plus and it is not difficult to equate her situation with events that have occurred in our own lives.

It is also an appropriate time to thank everyone who has adopted Kgosi over the years. Your help has supported the existence of Wolf Watch UK and the animals we have kept here.

In particular, those who have been able to visit us will share in the sadness of this occasion as anyone who has met Kgosi will have been positively and often spiritually affected by the experience.

Thank You!


Wolf Watch UK.

Pepe – 04/03/2009 to 01/04/2017

It is with the deepest of regret and a heavy heart we have to announce that Pepe passed away on Saturday 1st April 2017.

We informed Pepe’s “adoptors” last evening about the sad news before making this general announcement to all our members. We had high hopes that he was making a recovery from the illness that we had announced a few weeks ago, regrettably this was not the case and he had a sudden relapse and died on Saturday.

Pepe has spent nine years with us at Wolf Watch and had the best care and attention that we could provide, and we feel certain that he enjoyed his life with us. We will miss him dearly and so will his long term partner Callow who is already missing him and exhibiting similar behaviour to that we have seen before in these circumstances. As with all the wolves Pepe had his own favourite place to lay down in his enclosure to sunbathe and snooze and as if in a state of mourning Callow is now spending much of her time laying in Pepe’s spot. Pepe has been buried overlooking the valley and in the sight of his friends.

We would like to dedicate the BBC “Inside Out” programme screened on 31st March 2017 to Pepe’s memory, as this is the last footage taken of him enjoying daily life with Callow, and our latest additions Sansa and Rickon.

Pepe – 04/03/2009 to 01/04/2017pepe11

New Pack Members – Welcome Rickon and Sansa!

Now that TV the program “Inside Out – West Midlands” has aired on BBC, Wolf Watch UK can finally announce the arrival of our two new pack members Rickon and Sansa. Brother and sister like their namesakes from Game of Thrones who both had Dire Wolves in the hit TV series.

They arrived in the middle of January from a private collection that were in need of rehoming. They are 8 months old and are getting used to their new spacious environment, slowly gaining confidence and getting used to life at the centre. They have already met the neighbours Pepe and Callow and all seem to be enjoying each others company.

We would like to thank Paradise Wildlife Park and their exceptional staff for their help with transportation and veterinary assistance. Your kindness and support is very much appreciated and valued.

Rickon and Sansa will be available for adoption very soon. Please keep checking back for updates on them and the rest of the WWUK pack.

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Pepe Health Scare

We’ve had a tough time at Wolf Watch over the past few weeks. Pepe gave us a bit of a scare, he developed a large swelling on his throat and stopped eating. The initial prognosis from the vet was not good and we feared the worse. He has suffered a lot of muscle wastage and became unsteady on his feet. Tony spent lots of time with Pepe encouraging him to eat, by hand feeding him his favourite sardines. The signs became a little more encouraging and we called the vet out again and further investigations determined that the swelling was an abscess and nothing more sinister. A course of strong antibiotics was proscribed and we are pleased to report that there has been significant improvement in his appetite and we are hopeful that this is the start of him retuning to the Pepe that we all know and love.