Wednesday, May 13, 2015

DPZ Home to Rare Mexican Wolves

(courtesy: Dickerson Park Zoo)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- May 13, 2015 Today's nice weather makes it the perfect day to go to the zoo.

That's where we find Melinda Arnold this morning with Dickerson Park Zoo's Mexican wolves. Mexican wolves are the rarest subspecies of gray wolf.

They are native to the Southwest U.S.; populations have been reestablished by reintroductions dating back to the late 1990s.

Our zoo was selected by the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan committee through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums to house Mexican wolves.

We have a group of four sisters (litter mates).

Currently, 49 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico care for a combined population of 300 wolves. Each wolf currently in human care at a zoo is a potential candidate for release candidate and to maintain that they must not be accustomed to humans.

Therefore, zoo staff adhere to strict regulations and guidelines for care. For example, the wolves can only be manually restrained for physicals so they maintain a healthy fear of humans.

They cannot receive enrichment items that would be associated with humans. There are also strict feeding policies that are in the best interest of the animals.