Autumn is a magical time at the Wolf Conservation Center. Colorful leaves are dancing in the breeze, cider is brewing in our cozy classroom cabin, and critically endangered wolves are shaking in their boots dreading the day humans set foot in their remote territories. The staff and volunteers rarely disturb our sixteen Mexican gray wolves and six red wolves, but when autumn rolls around, we get up close and personal with these most elusive animals for the wolves’ annual medical exams. Today was the first of three “check-up capture days” scheduled this season. A group of WCC volunteers and staff met this early morning with clipboards, vaccinations, thermometers, doughnuts, etc…, basically all the equipment to best prepare our team to meet the challenge of catching seven elusive lobos. In order to administer vaccinations, take blood, and weigh each wolf, we calmly herd the wolves through their spacious enclosure and into capture boxes – wooden doghouse-like structures with removable roofs. Once a wolf is captured in the box, the WCC’s generous volunteer veterinarian proceeds with the exam. The actual exam takes only minutes, the real challenge is capturing the frightened wolves. Thankfully, twelve-year-old F613 and her six three-year-old offspring ran into their boxes without a hitch, this isn’t F613’s first rodeo! All the wolves looked in tip top shape, Mama wolf F613 looked amazing. I guess managing six three-year-olds can keep a gal spry! Big thanks to Dr Khodakhah from the Pound Ridge Veterinary Center for volunteering her time, expertise, and labor this morning and to F613 for taking great care of her family.