P-Awww: Orphaned wolf pups debut at Minnesota Zoo


It's been a long journey for five young wolf pups, but they're finally settling into their permanent home at the Minnesota Zoo.

The "Funny River Five" were orphaned during Alaska's Funny River wildfire, which devastated over 200,000 acres on the Kenai Peninsula in May.

After two days and no sign of the two-week-old pups' mother, firefighters rescued them and brought them to the Alaska Zoo. Because the zoo already had an established wolf pack, the pups – named Gannett, Hooper, Husila, Stebbius and X-Ray, after the firefighters' hometowns and the fire crew who rescued them – were brought to the Minnesota Zoo when they were 8 weeks old.


"We are very grateful to the Alaska Zoo for giving these pups such excellent care when they were first rescued, and to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for entrusting us with their permanent care," Minnesota Zoo Collection Manager Tony Fisher said, according to KARE 11. "It is rewarding for us to once again be able to provide a home for orphaned Alaskan animals."

The Minnesota Zoo hand-raised the pups, making sure they got the proper care and nutrition. And after spending the required amount of time in quarantine, they made their public debut Thursday morning, the Minnesota Zoo says.

The youngsters were also reunited with Josh Leutzinger (pictured at left in a photo provided by the Minnesota Zoo), the crew supervisor for the Gannett Glacier Fire Crew, who coordinated the effort to rescue the wolves, WCCO says.


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