There’s a new wolf at the Zoo!
New York State Zoo at Thompson Park welcomes Luna, a Gray Wolf.
Watertown, N.Y. (September 8, 2017)— The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park is excited to welcome a new Gray Wolf. Luna, a three year old pup, is no stranger to the Watertown Zoo. She was born here in 2014 to parents Kaja and Keenai. During the past few years, Luna has been on loan at Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Georgia. She’s back home now, and adjusting very well.
Luna has spent the past few weeks behind the scenes as Shawn Jabobs, Zoo Curator, and the keeper staff keep a close eye on her. “We’ve been monitoring her to make sure she’s displaying typical wolf behavior and ensuring she is 100% healthy” says Zoo Director, Lesley Clark. Overall, the staff is very impressed with how well Luna has done with her re-integration.
Since being on exhibit, Luna is displaying all of the positive signs the staff looks for in a successful transition: she’s eating really well, playing, exploring, and interacting with the other wolves. She can be seen playfully chasing bugs, running along the exhibit, and resting beneath trees. “She’s a high energy wolf, and we love her for that.” added Clark.
For wolves in the wild, leaving their birth-pack to form their own pack is commonplace. It’s customary to see fully matured wolves break off to find a mate – for this reason, the zoo has chosen to keep from Luna separate from her parents while on exhibit. “It helps them to be able to follow their natural instincts of separation” Clark said. The zoo will chart a rotating schedule for exhibiting the wolves. Starting 9/9/2017, Luna will be on exhibit. 9/10 will be her parents… 9/12 will be Luna… and so forth. For visitors hoping to see Luna, call ahead to confirm she will be available on exhibit on a given day. In the future, the Zoo may consider integrating Luna fully with her parents; but for now, the best and safest option is to keep all three wolves feeling secure in their independence.
The Wolf Exhibit at the New York State Zoo is generously sponsored by Northern Credit Union.