We are thrilled to introduce the newest Animal Ambassador! Agnes is a 5-year-old wolf hybrid. She loves to stretch her legs, bounce, and climb. Agnes is a mid-content wolf-dog. In Agnes’ case, this provided a mellow and social personality – much like a domesticated dog. Her wolf ancestry is evident in her appearance. She has a wolfs’ downward slanting yellow eyes, bushy low tail, large paws, broad face, and smaller ears.
Settling in at Wildlife Images
Agnes has made strides since first arriving at Wildlife Images. She has been working with a primary handler and is willing to fulfill training requests for a treat or word of praise – often initiating training behaviors on her own. Agnes is also a skilled escape artist – a trait she got from her wolfy heritage. While her enclosure is safe and secure at Wildlife Images, she has proven, in her previous placement, that she is smart and loves to explore. When out on a walk around the park, Agnes will often find a good smell to roll in and has shown interest in meeting new people and animals. She has met fellow wolf ambassador Argo. As a low-content wolf-hybrid, Argo has a much mellower personality and his appearance is more dog-like than wolf-like. Agnes has yet to meet Rogue and Takelma, often referred to as The Pups. The two high-content ambassadors joined Wildlife Images in 2017. Their personalities allow people to learn about a traditional wolf-like behavior – which is often curious but notably elusive and skittish in the wild. Agnes falls right in between Argo and The Pups in almost every aspect.
Agnes honors local Tribal Elder
Naming a new Animal Ambassador at Wildlife Images is serious business. It took a couple weeks to land on the perfect name for this new addition. We knew her name would have to tie into the rest of the pack. Argo, Rogue, and Takelma all have ties to southern Oregon’s famed Rogue River. The Takelma people originally lived along the Rogue River, in fact, the word Takelma means “(those) along the river.” Rogue is a direct reference to the Rogue River itself. Argo is named after the Argo Riffle, a class II rapid on the Rogue River, near Galice. Agness (with two S’s) is a community on the Rogue River but we chose to honor Agnes Baker Pilgrim, an elder in the Takelma Tribe by spelling it Agnes instead of Agness.
Wolf-Hybrids face an uncertain future
Wildlife Images received a call in early December from a partner agency which indicated that a wolf-hybrid needed immediate placement. Wolf-dog mix breeds have very few options for a healthy and happy life. Their temperament, energy level, and dietary needs can vary widely meaning that, for the average family, wolf-dogs do not make good pets. There are very few facilities which have the space, staff, and time available to take on hybrids. Some communities have regulations that prevent ownership of these animals or restricts ownership to special permitting which is hard to obtain.
Bringing on a new Ambassador
Wildlife Images takes great care in deciding when to bring on a new Animal Ambassador. Each decision for permanent placement at the park is a delicate balance between our mission of Saving Wildlife and ensuring that each animal who lives at the park will get the highest standard of care and quality of life. This means we must consider facility space, staff experience, training time, long-term health care needs, safety, and social needs of an animal. Beyond our own requirements – special permitting, licensing and habitat guidelines are required by our partnering and regulatory agencies.
Agnes is hosting a Meet and Greet for Members Only on February 22nd. This event is free but requires an RSVP. Members should check their email for details on reserving their spot. Non-members can attend by purchasing a membership and RSVPing before February 20th.