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Thompson Park Zoo brings back wolf that had been on loan in Georgia

Thompson Park Zoo brings back wolf that had been on loan in Georgia

WATERTOWN — It’s home, sweet home for Luna, the gray wolf pup that was reintroduced by officials at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park.Luna was among the litter of nine wolf pups born at the zoo in 2014. She has spent the last few years on loan at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Georgia.Zoo staff said she has adjusted well since coming back to the north country, showing positive signs with her eating, playing, exploring of her enclosure and interacting with other wolves.“She’s a high-energy wolf, and we love her for that.” said zoo director Lesley Clark, in a provided statement.The wolf first went on display Saturday, and will be on display every other day, in order to be separated from her parents, Kaja and Keenai.Keeping Luna from her parents “helps them to be able to follow their natural instincts of separation,” Ms. Clark said.Ms. Clark said that in the wild, it is common for wolves leaving the birth pack to form their own pack, and to find a mate.In the future, the zoo said they might consider integrating Luna with her parents, but for now, the “best and safest option is to keep all three wolves feeling secure in their independence.”Zoo staff asked that zoo patrons hoping to see Luna specifically call in advance to ensure she will on exhibit on the day of their visit.According to the National Wildlife Federation, wolves can grow to 3 to 5 feet long. Female wolves can weigh from 60 to 100 pounds. In captivity, the animals have a lifespan of about 15 years, the group said.According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, gray wolves have been found historically found in New York. However, the species was wiped out in the state due to unregulated harvest and habitat change.Multiple conservation efforts have been undertaken nationwide to help increase the number of gray wolves in the wild.
Source: Watertown Daily Times Latest News
Thompson Park Zoo brings back wolf that had been on loan in Georgia

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