Went to Olderdissen today and saw confirmed what I already asumed. Smilla is the new alpha and - even though this is indeed pretty surprising - Kira, our sweet puppy-faced omega is the new beta of the pack. Until now she has been the least ranked for her whole life.
When I went to the park a few hours after Laika's death I could already see how this had a giant impact on Kira. I haven't seen her in the old enclosure since last summer. But thursday she followed Smilla (who's the one disturbing that picture here) through the tunnel, climbed on the hill infront of the passage, then she looked around and just peacefully lied down. Smilla would stand beside her, softly sniffing her ears.
This somehow expressed relief for me, even though this might sounds mean. It's still very sad that it had to end with Laika being dead, but I can't fail to see how the situation of the pack is improving rapidly now. They have always been splitten a bit. Luna and Ronja were for themselves, Smilla and Laika were for themselves. Kira was alone in the back of the new enclosure, sometimes visited by Smilla, sometimes annoyed by Laika and Ronja.
Today they were all hanging around together and some tension only exists between Kira and Ronja now. Ronja still needs to accept Kira's new position and Kira is demonstrating it without any aggression. She just needs to stand in front of Ronja, staring at her and holding her tail horizontally.
And Luna, she's already pretty brave again. When they got fed Kira was standing beside her, not even trying to steal her food. Smilla was chasing towards her, but Luna didn't even flinched. And Smilla didn't attack, she just stopped beside her, growling, taking the food and went away without any sparring. Laika would have turned that into a drama for Luna.
They looked more relaxed (except Ronja, she was a bit stressed). Smilla and Kira are pretty even-tempered wolves, not very aggressive, but determined. If things stay like this, this might be the perfect constellation for the pack.
(Sub)species: European Wolf (Canis Lupus Lupus)
Age: 4 years (May 2008)
Localisation: Tierpark Olderdissen, Bielefeld, Germany
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