Saturday, May 28, 2016

Aww! Look at the wolf pups that just got to MN’s International Wolf Center

The International Wolf Center in Ely is welcoming two Arctic wolf pups.
The 4-week-old males flew in from Canada on Wednesday night, the center announced in a Facebook post.

The pups are kept separate from the rest of the pack until they are a bit older – they’ll sniff and get to know the other wolves through a fence, before being introduced into the pack sometime in August, Communications Manager Abbe Pedersen told BringMeTheNews.

(Photo: International Wolf Center, Facebook)
Wolf biologists and trained staff will hand-raise the pups, bottle feeding them around the clock and positively conditioning them to handling techniques, as well as the sights and sounds of the center to ensure the safety of staff members.

But on the other hand, they’re not pets, Pedersen said. The center wants the wolves to remain wild animals, and they do not let visitors pet the wolves or have hands-on interactions.

The center has been preparing for the arrival of the pups for months, by building an expansion to its Wolf Lab. The Wolf Care Center was completed a couple weeks ago, Pedersen said, and the pups are resting in their new facility.

Although she noted the little guys did keep some staff members up last night – something anyone who has ever had a new puppy could probably relate to.
Here are more pictures of the wolves’ arrival.

The International Wolf Center’s mission

The mission of the center: “To advance the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wild lands and the human role in their future,” the website says.

They do not breed wolves – but they do maintain a live wolf exhibit, featuring four adult “ambassador” wolves that help teach the public.

The live exhibit aims to enhance educational experiences for both visitors and for people watching through its online wolf cams and webinars.

They also have one older wolf who is in “retirement,” Pedersen said, which means he is separated from the other wolves because he is older and can’t compete.

The International Wolf Center will be hosting an educational one-hour webinar on May 31 to share the physical and behavior development of the new pups.