Saturday, May 19, 2012

International Wolf Center's new pups need names

Published May 19, 2012

One of the International Wolf Center’s two new pups, known temporarily as Peanut, has survived leg surgery and evacuation from her first forest fire.

By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
  • Wolf pups
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    Bolts (left, red) and Peanuts (right, black) are the International Wolf Center’s new wolf pups. After an online poll, they will get new names chosen by the public. (Photo by Darcy Berus International Wolf Center)
One of the International Wolf Center’s two new pups, known temporarily as Peanut, has survived leg surgery and evacuation from her first forest fire.
Now officials at the Wolf Center in Ely want the public to help name her and the other new member of its pack.

Peanut and a male pup temporarily named Bolts arrived at the wolf center near Ely in April, spokesman Tom Myrick said Friday. They’ll be integrated into the center’s “ambassador” pack of five wolves.
First, their names will be selected in an online poll that began at noon Friday and will continue through May 31. Anyone can vote at

Friends of the Wolf Center submitted more than 1,500 possible names during the first two weeks of May. Wolf Center personnel winnowed that down to four nominees for each pup.
For the male:

  • Boden (Boh-Den) — Scandinavian/Old French for “shelter/herald; one who brings news.”
  • Boltz — He recognizes the current name “Bolts” when it’s used by staff. It’s “a nickname for a pup that has a quick step around the enclosure.”
  • Nodin (Noh-Din) — An American Indian word for “wind.”
  • Orion (oh-RYE-on) — In Greek mythology, Orion was a mighty hunter.For the female:
  • Luna (Loo-Nah) — Latin for “moon.”
  • Kanene (Kah-NAY-Nay or Kah-Neen) — An African word for “a little thing in the eye is big” or “little things that are important.”
  • Aysha — An English name meaning “lively.”
  • Spirit — “The attitude and tenacity she has shown despite her medical issues.”The latter refers to a medical condition that surfaced in the female soon after she arrived. An initial exam at the Ely Veterinary Clinic revealed a potential problem in her right hip, and the pup was referred to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center for an in-depth examination. That occurred Wednesday, and after examining her, veterinary surgeons successfully attached a plate to the pup’s right rear femur in an hourlong surgery.
    In a news release, Wolf Center curator Lori Schmidt said the wolf’s underlying condition was a mystery.
    “It could be metabolic, or it could be a Vitamin D deficiency,” she said. “In other words, it could be something we can address or it might be a chronic condition that we cannot do anything about.”
    In the wild, such a condition could well be fatal, Myrick said.The pup was barely back in Ely when the Wolf Center was affected by the wildfire that threatened Ely on Thursday.
    The center was closed to the public, and the pups were evacuated in kennels to a safe location, Myrick said. Preparations also were made to evacuate the five adult wolves, he said, but that never became necessary. The fire never reached the wolf center, and it was reopened for business on Friday.Wolf pups are added to the pack every four years, Myrick said. 
    They come from various USDA-approved breeding facilities, which the wolf center declines to name. Naming new pups is a tradition that goes back at least two decades.“We are an educational organization and our mission is to educate the world about wolves,” Myrick said. “In order to fulfill that mission we really have to engage the public in every conceivable way that we can. And this is one fantastic way to engage everybody from kids to seniors.”The center’s website draws hits from throughout the world, Myrick said.