The Como Park Zoo has welcomed two wolves from the Wildlife Science Center (WSC), bringing wolves back to the St. Paul zoo for the first time since March 2020.
WSC in Stacy sent two "beautiful" male wolves to the Como Park Zoo to serve as ambassadors of their species and provide zoogoers with an opportunity to learn about the species and how humans can co-exist with them, a news release said.
The two wolves — Nicky (pictured above on the left) and Cerberus (pictured above on the right) — are 2.5-year-old littermates who were born at WSC in April 2019. They were set to arrive at the zoo on Sept. 15 and will be on display in the updated Wolf Woods habitat starting Oct. 1, the zoo said in a news release on Tuesday.
The zoo had two wolves previously, Denali and Shy-Ann, who came from WSC in 2005 after being born there in 2003. Denali died in August 2019, while Shy-Ann died in March 2020 at age 17, Como Park Zoo spokesperson Matt Reinartz told Bring Me The News.
WSC said Denali and Shy-Ann lived "full lives" into their teens and educated thousands of people. In the wild, gray wolves typically live to be 6-8 years old, WSC said.
After Shy-Ann's death, the Como Park Zoo cleaned up and updated the Wolf Woods habitat, including adding new fencing to make it easier for zookeepers to access their habitat while the wolves are outside and give visitors a "much better view of the wolves," zookeeper Hans Jorgensen said in a news release.
"Wolves are an important member of our ecosystem in Minnesota, and they often are misunderstood. The Wildlife Science Center continues to share their unique knowledge, research and conservation efforts with their community partners such as the Como Park Zoo," WSC said in a news release.
WSC says this gift to the Como Zoo aligns with its mission to serve as an educational resource to people of all ages by providing exposure to wild animals.
Como Park Zoo opening traveling wolf exhibit
A traveling wolf exhibit is opening at the zoo on Oct. 1, ahead of Wolf Awareness Week, which is Oct. 17-23.
The International Wolf Center in Ely has partnered with Outhouse Exhibit Services Inc. on the exhibit titled, "Wolves and Wild Lands in the 21st Century."
The traveling exhibit will bring stories of wolves and their relationship to humans, and will feature six preserved taxidermy animals: an Arctic wolf, a Mexican wolf, a coyote, a red wolf, a Rocky Mountain wolf, and a Great Plains wolf.
Each animal will be presented in its human and natural-history context, along with graphics that share regional information that impacts each species.