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Four new animals now call the Utica Zoo home!
The Utica Zoo announced Tuesday that four male Mexican Gray Wolves have arrived at the zoo from California. They’ve joined the zoo’s lone female wolf, Sierra, a longtime resident of the zoo.
The new wolves are all two-year-old siblings, and they came from the California Wolf Center outside San Diego. The California Wolf Center is dedicated to the care and conservation of Mexican Gray and Rocky Mountain Gray wolves, and it cares for and breeds wolves through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Mexican Wolf Recovery program.
According to the Utica Zoo, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) owns all Mexican Gray Wolves. After Sierra’s sister, Aztec, died of cancer last year, the Utica Zoo was immediately in contact with USFWS and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They all determined that the best option was to bring new companions in for Sierra rather than moving her to a new facility.
“Even though it sometimes happens in the wild, ideally we do not want our animals – especially a species like Mexican wolves – to live without companionship," says Pearl Yusuf, Director of Animal Operations for the Utica Zoo, in a news release. ”After Aztec passed, we were in touch with the right people to improve Sierra’s social quality of life.”