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Wolfkeeper Notes
December 6, 2011


Wind of Change

Image of Wazzi
For over 16 years the Minnesota Zoo has participated in the Mexican Wolf recovery effort to bring this genetically distinct sub-species of wolf back from the brink of extinction. With the success of this program, and others of our Zoological partners taking a larger role, the Zoo has decided to assist a less well known Endangered Species — the Dhole.

So around Labor Day the Mexican Wolves that the Zoo was temporarily holding for the Minot Zoo (due to the flooding in Minot, ND) were returned to them and the last Mexican Wolf left the Minnesota Zoo.

This was a sad day for the keepers that have spent long years looking after many Mexican Wolves but, as with any change, there comes a new opportunity.

Currently the exhibit is under renovation in preparation for the unusual and eye-catching Dhole that are planned to be on exhibit in the Spring of 2012.

For our Minnesota Wolves, Orion and Waziyata, another year has passed. Orion has reached an age that is rare for a wolf. He turned 15 in April and is in excellent health for a Senior wolf. He patiently tolerates the excited activity of the much younger Waziyata. Unfortunately we had another unsuccessful breeding season, although there was attempted breeding as well as artificial insemination.

With Orion reaching an age that deserves a more peaceful retirement he is about to be transferred to a smaller zoo that currently houses a 16 year old female wolf. The two will hopefully live out their remaining years with the companionship that every genuinely wonderful animal deserves. We will miss having him at the Zoo.

To fill the spot left open by Orion we will be receiving a younger wolf to pair with Waziyata. He is a striking black color and will be a fitting mate for Wazi — if he can keep up with her!

As with all animals coming to the Zoo, our new wolf will go through quarantine and be on exhibit hopefully by the beginning of the year.

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