Friday, August 7, 2015

Brookfield Zoo's Mexican gray wolf pups receive names

The Brookfield Zoo announced Thursday that an online poll has named its new Mexican gray wolf pups Inigo, Nestor, Aldo and Magdalena (clockwise from top left). | Brookfield Zoo photo
The Brookfield Zoo announced Thursday that an online poll has named its new Mexican gray wolf pups Inigo, Nestor, Aldo and Magdalena (clockwise from top left). | Brookfield Zoo photo

BROOKFIELD, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Three Mexican gray wolf pups born at Brookfield Zoo in May now have names after 30,000 votes were cast in an online poll. Two of the male puppies will be named Inigo, a Spanish name meaning “fiery”; and Aldo, after conservationist Aldo Leopold, the zoo announced Thursday. The female puppy will be named Magdalena after a village in New Mexico.

Zoo fans cast more than 30,000 votes to give the puppies names, the west suburban zoo announced in a statement.

They belong to a litter of four playful pups who are “growing by leaps and bounds,” according to zoo officials. Since their birth in May, they are already weaned and are eating solid foods.

A fourth male pup was previously named Nestor in memory of Ernesta, a female wolf who lived at Brookfield Zoo from 2010-12. She was released into the wild in New Mexico as part of a recovery program, but was later found dead.

The pups will likely remain at Brookfield Zoo through the next breeding season. Zoo officials hope their parents, Zana and Flint, will have another litter to give the young wolves a chance to learn parenting skills by helping raise a new litter of siblings. Their birth also marked a victory for a Mexican gray wolf breeding program, in which the zoo participates.

Once common throughout the American Southwest, the species was on the brink of extinction by the 1970s, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which runs the recovery program. Mexican gray wolves are still considered endangered.

Visitors can see the puppies in their two-acre outdoor environment at the Regenstein Wolf Woods.

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