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Atka Busts a Move? Why Wolves Scent Roll

 During the weekend Atka helped dozens of families at the American Museum of Natural History’s “Seeping at the Museum” program learn about the importance of his wild brothers and sisters. Members of the audience were prepared to meet a real wolf and to learn about his wild counterparts, however, they didn’t expect to behold an extremely lively, strange, and adorable performance that reminded one child of a break-dance routine! Although we would love to believe that Atka has been secretly working on his urban dance moves, his behavior reflects the typical wolf (or dog) response to an introduction to a novel odor. Scent rolling is method for wolves to bring information back to the pack. When a wolf encounters a new scent, rolling often ensues so when that wolf returns home to his family, he can share his discovery. It’s like bringing home a souvenir. Atka was especially excited about rolling in the peppermint oil he discovered at the museum, he rolled in it several times. Maybe he enjoys smelling minty-fresh?