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Wolfkeeper Notes
June 6th, 2007


What's New with the Pack?

It has been awhile since I have written anything about the pack of Mexican Gray wolves at the zoo, so I figured I would take some time and give you an update on who we still have on exhibit and who has left the zoo to go to other facilities.

The Minnesota Zoo is currently exhibiting four males in the pack. All of the males were born here-three were from the 2003 and one from the 2004 litter. They range in size from 75-85 pounds (depending on winter or summer) and are getting along well with each other.

If you do your math (or have followed the wolves in the past), that leaves quite a few wolves that have left MN and traveled to other zoos. Here goes:

Breeding Female-#569: She went to the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, ND in April 2005 with her daughter #900. The two of them still reside at the Dakota Zoo and I have been told are doing well.

Breeding Male-#612: He was sent to the Cincinnati Zoo in Cincinnati, OH in April 2005 as well. Our male was sent there to be paired with a very genetically valuable female for breeding. Unfortunately, a few short months later, he was diagnosed with severe kidney failure and was humanely euthanized due to the severity of the illness.

Female's from the 2003 litter-#836-839: These four females made a journey from the Minnesota Zoo to the New York Wolf Conservation Center in Salem, NY in November 2004. In November 2005, wolf #838 was sent from the NY Center to be paired with a male wolf at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service breeding facility for possible release into the wild in 2006. This release took place in July. A second female was chosen for possible release in 2007 and left Salem in November 2006. This leaves two of the 2003 female pups still in New York.

Female from the 2004 litter-#900: This female was sent to the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, ND in April 2005 with her mother #569. She still lives in ND with her mother and I have been told the pair is doing well.

The transfer of wolves from one zoo to another is done when the SSP feels it is necessary for the program. The wolves are not owned by any one zoo but rather are placed on loan by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Mexican government. These decisions on transfers, breeding and the like are made at the annual meeting in July, where each facility is invited to participate in the decision making process for the upcoming year. It is crucial to the survival of the species that these decisions are made based on science and not each zoo's independent management wishes. This is one reason why this SSP has been so successful with the preservation of the world's most endangered wolf.

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