The Woodland Park Zoo last week introduced a pack of four 1-year-old gray wolves to the Northern Trail exhibit. The wolves are nearly fully grown, and weigh between 75 and 85 pounds each.
The wolves were born at New York State Zoo. They arrived at Woodland Park Zoo last September, and were in a 30-day standard quarantine, then spent several months in an off-view enclosure getting acclimated to their new surroundings.
Photo by Dennis Dow, Woodland Park Zoo.
A 16-year-old female was the zoo’s sole remaining wolf in the exhibit after her male companion died a couple of months ago from geriatric-related health issues. Since introducing an elderly wolf to a young pack is not possible, she was moved to a retirement enclosure that is off view to visitors.
The gray wolf (Canis lupus), also called the timber wolf, is listed and protected as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act and by the state of Washington. Wolves have been hunted almost to extinction in the U.S. with the exception of Alaska and Minnesota. One of the most feared and controversial animals of our time, wolves generally hunt in packs and are an important northern predator. State and federal wildlife authorities are monitoring the activity of resident wolves to learn more about their use of habitat and to reduce potential conflicts.