There are currently 2 gray wolves living at the Zoo; a male and a female. Both of these wolves were born from the same pack at Wolf Park in Indiana in 1997.
These wolves have been socialized with humans since birth, which has made them comfortable around people. This leads them to exhibit more natural behaviors than other
captive wolves, which makes them fun and exciting to watch on exhibit.
The training and socialization the gray wolves have received has enabled zookeepers to manage them in what is called "free contact." This means that
the wolves consider their keepers as "visitors" to the pack, and reduces dominance issues between the wolves and humans. Zookeepers have trained the wolves
basic behaviors such as sit, lay down, and move up. In fact, the gray wolves at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo have even been trained to receive hand injections of any
necessary medications or vaccinations. While the keepers work hard to maintain a high level of training and socialization with the wolves, it is critical to remember
that the wolves are NOT PETS and must be respected as inherently wild animals.
Amani (Alpha female)
Amani looks much like the Zoo's male Akimo, except that she has a narrower face and a black spot on her tail. As Amani has grown older, her coat has transformed
from gray to white. Being that Amani is the only female gray wolf at the Zoo, she is the alpha female by default. She has maintained dominance over Akimo since
Ahblaze's death. Typically, however, Amani is submissive to the zookeepers who care for her.
Akimo (Beta male)
Akimo and Amani look alike, but he is larger than she is and has a wider face. Like the Amani, Akimo's color morphed as he grew older; he used to be redder but now
is almost all white. Despite being the Zoo's only male gray wolf, Akimo is submissive to Amani; she has always been dominant to him.
For more information about the wolves at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, please visit our website at
or call (315) 435-8511.