Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gray wolves return to Menominee Park Zoo, WI

Jennifer K. Woldt, Oshkosh Northwestern Media

Four gray wolves - Sienna, Rebel, Thunder and Echo - will call the Menominee Park Zoo home beginning this season. (April 30, 2015) Jennifer K. Woldt, Oshkosh Northwestern Media


A new four-wolf pack is roaming the 1-acre wolf exhibit at the Menominee Park Zoo.

The gray wolves — Sienna, Rebel, Echo and Thunder — came to the Menominee Park Zoo from the Wildlife Science Center near Minneapolis and have settled into their new habitat in time for the zoo's opening Saturday. "We had a lot of people wondering when we were going to get replacements," zoo specialist Stacy Donnelly said. "I'm excited for people to see them. I think they're going to enjoy how active they are."

The wolves arrived at the Menominee Park Zoo in October after the last of the zoo's original three wolves was euthanized in June 2014 because of health reasons. While the Oshkosh Zoological Society gave the Wildlife Science Center a donation, Donnelly said the center did not charge the city for the wolves.

The new wolves are litter mates, born to a wolf that originally lived in Yellowstone National Park, where wolves are typically larger. Their heritage is the reason why the 12-year-old wolves are bigger than the wolves one would come across in the Wisconsin wild. "They're big wolves," Donnelly said. "They're bigger than the wolves we have (in Wisconsin)."

Thunder, the biggest of the four wolves, weighs in at 120 pounds and stands nearly 3 feet tall, Donnelly said.

Donnelly said each wolf has its own personality, from Thunder, whom she described as a "big, dopey dog," to Sierra, who acts as a look-out for the pack, to Rebel, who is the dominant male, and to Echo, who is more on the shy side.

The wolves were named through a Facebook naming contest, Donnelly said. "We've got some very favorable comments about the pack," Oshkosh Parks Director Ray Mauer said. "I think they'll be more visible to the community."

If You Go
Menominee Park Zoo season runs May 2 through Sept. 27. The zoo is open 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. The zoo is at 520 Pratt Trail, Oshkosh, and can be reached at (920) 236-5082 or online at www2.ci.oshkosh.wi.us/Parks/Zoo.

source