Rescued wolf pups to arrive at Minnesota Zoo Tuesday


The five wolf pups who were rescued from a wildfire in Alaska in May are heading to their new home at the Minnesota Zoo this week.

The two females and three males were discovered in their den by crews battling a wildfire near the Funny River on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula on May 27, according to the Alaska Zoo. The two-week-old pups had been abandoned by their parents and had puncture wounds from porcupine needles, officials said.

The young wolves, who have been called the "Funny River five," were treated at the Alaska Zoo, but now that they're bigger and healthier they'll be transported to the Minnesota Zoo on Tuesday, according to the Alaska Zoo website.

It's a perfect time for the now 8-week-old pups to travel – they're small enough so they can fit in two kennels, so they don't have to make the journey to Minnesota alone, WCCO says.

One of the pups is named X-Ray after the fire crew that saved them, while the others were named after the four rescuers' hometowns – Gannett, Hooper, Huslia and Stebbins, KTUU reports.

Minnesota Zoo spokesperson Josh Le told the Star Tribune the wolf pups won't be on exhibit at the zoo right away though – they'll be in quarantine for a month while they get tests done.

Le told he newspaper the pups will replace the zoo's adult pair of gray wolves, who have never bread successfully. Le expects the new wolves to boost attendance because they'll be creating the wolf pack the zoo has always wanted to have.

View photos of the wolf pups from when they arrived at the Alaska Zoo to their most recent checkup here.

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The Funny River wildfire sparked on May 19 and investigators believe humans started it near an old oil and gas exploration road, reported the Anchorage Daily News. The fire has damaged more than 193,000 acres.

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