Wild Times Archive

Hello, my name is Shilah!

I was born March 31, 2007 at Parc Safari in Quebec. My mom was not the best of mothers….. it happens, so at the tender age of two months, the Edmonton Valley Zoo took me. As a hand-raised wolf, my willingness to bond to with humans is quite different than my mate, Tundra. That man is a pack wolf through and through, so don’t expect him to cozy up to humanoids like I choose to. Which brings me to an important point: I CHOOSE. Anyone who knows me, understands that I do what I want, when I want, if I want. I am a gal who knows her own mind.

We all know that wolves are smart, right? I mean, who can forget the plight of Little Red Riding Hood. I am trustworthy with my pack mates, both the wolf variety and a select few zookeepers who I’ve allowed into my inner sanctum. It takes time for me to trust new people but when I do, I’m a loyal and protective friend for life. Some people around here (no names) call me a “princess.” Can I help my gorgeous white coat, beautiful expressive eyes, long narrow snout tipped with a shiny black nose, and an operatic howl that can stir Tundra from a deep sleep?

  1.  When I am out for my regular walk, please don’t ask the keepers if you can pet the DOG!!! I AM NOT A DOG. Nor, am I “just like a dog.” I am pure WOLF.

  2. You all sound ridiculous when you howl, seriously, it’s beyond annoying. Your wannabe notes are off key and flat. Please, no more howling.

  3. Do not ask my age.

  4. Do not ask my weight (If Tundra didn’t want me to eat his food then he should finish it!).

  5. Diets (See #4).

There is no lady-like way to say this, so here goes, poop. You read that correctly, poop. Feces, excrement, dung, manure, the list goes on with fancier words that simply mean, “POOP.” Poop has everything going for it – smell, texture, pliability. It’s pretty great stuff to roll around in. And, there are so many varieties around here, from elephant dung to horse manure. I also like the herbs from our enrichment garden, especially lavender which offers a wonderful top note to  the aroma of poop (I just love saying that word!).

I love to play with my mate, Tundra. He’s younger – luckily I still look smoking hot for my age – and being from the Netherlands, he has an accent that I find quite appealing. I also like to play with my keepers. I adore Paul and Mia, and of course, my favourite, Wade, who has been in my pack for 12 years. When I see him, I get so excited that I whine. My human pack mates talk to me, brush me and take me for walks around the zoo (I know, that sounds an awful lot like being a dog but it’s not. Period.). Our walks are always exciting except for those wretched sandwich board signs. They just seem to pop up out of nowhere and give me a start. If I had my way, they would be gone.

It takes a long while before I let you into the Lupus club. It is a rigorous approval test which involves lots of time hanging out, feeding me, and walking beside me. If you are “in,” I will walk up and sniff your body without showing you my pearly whites. If you are “fully in,” I will show submission by rolling onto my side and peeing a little. That’s what I do when I see Wade. Just to be clear, I am not incontinent. That’s how wolves greet each other.

I’m all for getting involved with my own healthcare so I permit my humans to check my eyes, ears, teeth, mouth, paws, belly, and so on. Between you and me, it also makes my keepers feel accepted. Plus, who’s going to turn down a belly rub. I walk politely on a leash wearing my choke collar – I mean, my necklace.

Important Message

This is an important message to all the two-legged animals. The Arctic may look like a vast expanse with endless land and resources for the animals that live there, but it is not. Human encroachment is impacting all the creatures in the North, making a comfortable and happy survival very difficult. Please, help stop climate change by reducing your use of fossil fuels and aerosols; reducing, reusing and recycling instead of just tossing; and stopping the frivolous use of plastics because straws, bags, and beer can rings foul the water and cause death to my fellow animals.