IWC's Aidan, Exhibit Pack alpha, approaches retirement

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IWC's Aidan, Exhibit Pack alpha, approaches retirement

Post by Koa » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:08 pm

From IWC's Facebook page:
For those of you who have followed the pack dynamics of the Exhibit Pack at the International Wolf Center, we have reached a milestone today. Aidan, our pack leader for the last seven years, was brought to a veterinary clinic this morning for a complete health assessment and will be transitioned into retirement when he recovers from the anesthesia.

He is currently recuperating in the wolf care kennel adjacent to the pack holding area and will be moved to the Pack Holding area later today as the anesthesia wears off.
Aidan became the pack leader in February 2011. That happened when Maya, the dominant female at the time, chose Aidan over Denali and Grizzer to be the successor of our former pack leader, Shadow, who was retired at 10 years of age due to health reasons.

The decision to retire Aidan was months in the making. There was no event today that made this change happen. It was a series of interactions that affected his confidence and ultimately resulted in a pack that started to form around him. The first sign of testing for status started with the maturation of the Axel and Grayson, who began testing for rank last September and continued as they reached maturity between 18-24 months. You may have watched the media coverage this spring about the change in dynamics or you may have witnessed dominance issues with Aidan while visiting the Center’s facility in Ely.

“Many people had contacted me to ask why I didn’t pull him out of the pack last winter when the tensions increased,” said wolf curator Lori Schmidt. “It is important to understand that Aidan needed time to accept a lower ranking position. We want his transition to retirement to be comfortable and less stressful. If he thinks he still leads the pack, it’s been our experience that they will do what they can to get back to the pack. Aidan needed to be ready to let go of leadership. From what we saw in the last few weeks, we believe that time is right.”

For those of you watching the cameras, YouTube and the Wolf Care Webinars, he still had social interactions with the pack, especially Grayson, but when it came to Boltz and Axel, the tension was there. He let the others do the leading and he did the following. Essentially, the pack was starting to form a new leader.

Which wolf will take the lead is the next stage of this transition. Aidan’s brother, Denali, is going to stay with the pack at this time. He is an important member of the social group. We will definitely watch this closely. Denali is 10 years old “even though he acts like a 2-year old on occasion,” Schmidt said.

Staff will be on site 24-hours a day during this transition time and we will be testing some shared fence lines to see if Aidan wants to join Grizzer and Luna.
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Re: IWC's Aidan, Exhibit Pack alpha, approaches retirement

Post by SolitaryHowl » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:01 pm

I followed Aiden struggle with maintaining leadership since the fall/winter months. Separating him was the right decision for sure. I am happy they waited for Aiden to accept his new position in the pack, and not separate him right away - which only would have created stress & anxiety in both him and in the pack.

EDIT: IWC put a video up on Aiden's retirement. Things are going along well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV0OPVoTWmM
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