TWO wolves given a new lease of life in the Peterborough area are proving the call of the wild runs deep.
The pair of hybrid-wolves (or wolfdogs) called Bow and Arrow faced being put to sleep until they were rescued by animal enthusiast Pam Mansfield (61), who runs the Exotic Pet Refuge in Station Road, Deeping St James.
Now the pair are literally howling with delight after moving into a huge purpose-built den which has been specially set up to try to recreate the feel of life in the wild.
Pam said the male and female wolves absolutely love their new pad, which comes complete with a cosy Canadian-style log cabin.
They inherited their home last Friday from a pair of lynx and have already settled into its 2,400 square feet of grassy tree-covered ground.
Pam said: “They are quite nosey, so now they can see the refuge and see what’s going on.
“We made a bigger and better pen for them and we gave it a Canadian feel.
“They went mad when we put them in there, running around and sniffing everything as if to say ‘Cor, what’s this smell’?”
The new enclosure enjoys prime position at the outer edge of the four-acre animal centre where the wolves can look out across the fields or curtain-twitch at 350 colourful neighbours including ring-tailed lemur, monkeys and parrots.
The wolves’ blood is believed to be 90 per cent wolf and 10 per cent dog, which has given them a temperament described by Pam as “full of fun”.
She said: “They run about all day and all night.
“They are fantastic. I can go in with them and give them a stroke. If you sit on a log they jump right up and play with you.”
“They do howl at night, especially on a full moon, so that’s no myth. The dogs join in as well, so I end up with howling in stereo.”
“They are absolutely amazing. They look like wolves but have that little bit of dog that makes them more happy being with people.”
Bow, who is female, and Arrow, a male, eat treats and wag their tails like domestic dogs, while displaying all the traits of their wild wolf cousins.
As well as howling at the moon, Pam says their wolf’s bite is twice as strong as that of a domestic dog.
Refuge handyman Billy Spiller built the pair’s straw-filled log cabin alongside an existing breeze-block shed so that the couple could enjoy time apart from each other.
Pam said: “Bow can be very territorial so we built two sheds.
“When you have been with someone for donkeys’ years you want a bit of space.
“In the wild they don’t have sheds to go in, so if it’s cold they sleep outside. They make holes in the ground and cuddle right into them. It’s just their way.”
Pam began caring for 10-year-old Bow and Arrow on Good Friday in 2009 when they arrived by ferry from Northern Ireland into Stranraer, Scotland.
Without the help of the refuge the hybrid-wolves would have been put down under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act because their owners could not get a licence to keep them in their back garden.
Visitors can see the wolves and help raise funds for the refuge at its final open day of the year on October 16.