September 27, 2014
Wildlife Park Silz
This park is not only a place where you can watch various animal species, it is also a great place for hikes, because it offers a variety of shorter and longer routes.
Very close to the entrance is a petting zoo where the goats already know that humans usually have treats for them - and act accordingly.
At 11 AM there is the feeding of the wolves. Where other wildlife parks make a show out of it, here the meat gets thrown over the fence without further ado so the wolves are basically left to their own devices how to sort things out.
Their compound is rather large and can be overlooked from a wooden platform. There is also a sign that explains the different ways the wolves carry their tails and how this shows their position in the pack.
When two wolves quarrel, a third rejoices - and sneaks off with his juicy prize.
The pack was mostly gathered around a watering hole...
... the meadow ...
... or under some trees and bushes.
The body language is very clear in this situation - even though the pic is quite blurry due to the motion and the shade. The wolf to the left is much lower in rank than the wolf to the right - and by taking a submissive pose he signals that he is no threat.
In this series it is easy to see that the lower ranked wolf avoids eye contact and also shows by his body language that he does not mean to challenge the higher ranked wolf.
For me the wolf that showed its relationship to dogs the most was this one. He really enjoyed the roll on the grass.
After I finally managed to tear myself away from the wolves I followed the path up to a little hill in the forest where the small artic fox compound is located.
At the moment their fur is a still dirty white, but it will turn to pure white in the Winter.
He tried hard to stay awake - but in the end he failed and succumbed to sleep.
Down the hill there is a big corral that is the home of the large wisent.
Following the path uphill through the forest I passed wild boar...
... and stray deer ...
... I reached the meadow on top of a plateau where a huge herd of deer rested after their lunch of carrots.
Happy deer is being happy.
Continuing on the path through the forest I caught glimpses of stags through the trees.
One nearly ran into me - they are even more impressive when they come that close.
Nearly at the edge of the forest I found this stag right next to the path. It kept rubbing its antlers on a trunk.
After looking straight into the camera he continued his grooming session.
What a magnificent beast.
After leaving the shadow of the forest the path leads through sunny meadows. There are groves with even more deer.
And I even got to see a belling stag.
The rest of the walk towards the exit was pretty uneventful - except for a couple of sheep in the middle of the forest there was not a whole lot to see.
The last thing I saw before leaving the park was this beautiful stag who apparently got lost somehow and ended up in the goat corral - neither species seemed disturbed by that though.