The Wolf Conservation Center has two programs: Ambassador Wolf exhibit and the SSP (Species Survival Plan) program.
An ambassador wolf is an exhibit wolf tasked with inspiring adult and children to understand the importance of wild wolves. At the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), the ambassadors are raised by a dedicated group of staff and volunteers from early in their puppyhood. Because the WCC’s ambassadors will never live free in the wild, staff and volunteers strive to thank them every day for helping people better understand their wild “brothers and sisters.” Gratitude can be in the form of enrichment items and challenges to keep the ambassadors happy and healthy inside and out.
Atka is the oldest ambassador wolf at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC). He arrived at the WCC from Minnesota when he was just 8 days old.
Alawa (meaning "sweetpea" in Algonquin, and pronounced "ai-lay-ewa) is brown and gray and her temperament matches her name. She and her litter-mate, Zephyr (meaning "light or west wind"), were born on April 20 and arrived at the WCC on May 27.
Zephyr (meaning "light or west wind") is a beautiful black male with a prominent nose and a feisty personality.
Nikai (meaning “Little Saint” or One Who Wanders”) is a tan and gray wolf who joined the Wolf Conservation Center family in May of 2014.
The SSP (Species Survival Plan) program was developed in 1981 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to manage and conserve a select and typically threatened or endangered species population with the cooperation of AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and Approved Non-Member Participants. The Wolf Conservation Center is a participant in 2 separate SSPs, one for the Mexican gray wolf and the other for the red wolf.
Mexican Gray Wolves
Mexican gray wolf F1143 was born at the Wolf Conservation Center on April 22, 2008 to F613 and marked the first Mexican gray wolves born at the WCC! Now in the 2016 breeding season, F1143 herself is getting the chance to breed! The genetically valuable loba has been paired with Mexican gray wolf M1059 (Diego) in hope they'll contribute to the recovery of their rare species with pups this spring.
One of our most popular Mexican gray wolves, “Rhett” was born at the California Wolf Center in 2008 and has lived an adventurous life. USFWS released him into the wild in 2013 with the hope that he would become the alpha male of Arizona’s Bluestem pack after the previous alpha male was killed. Unfortunately, M1133 failed to capture the attention of the pack’s alpha female so three weeks after his release he was placed back in captivity. While at USFWS’s captive breeding center he was paired with a wild born female and this pair was released in the spring. However, M1133 and his mate traveled in the wrong direction and ultimately ended up near human settlements in an area with very little natural prey. Similar to his previous release and capture, M1133 was once again placed in captivity and he has lived at the WCC ever since. Rhett’s new mate (F810) passed away in March 2015. In the fall of the following year he was introduced to Mexican wolf F1226 and hopefully the pair will contribute to the recovery of their rare species with the birth of pups this spring!
M1198 a.k.a. Alleno
M1198 (a.k.a. Alleno) was born at the Endangered Wolf Center on May 2, 2010. The handsome fellow was transferred to the Rio Grande Zoo in 2012 and joined the Wolf Conservation Center family in October of 2014 to accompany Mexican wolf F749 (a.k.a. Bella). Sadly, just over a year after their introduction, his female companion passed away. She was 13 years old. M1198 will remain a "lone wolf" until he's paired with a mate during the fall of 2017. Although he lives on exhibit, the elusive wolf is rarely seen. When one does catch a glimpse, no doubt they find M1198 particularly stunning. His signature stare is quite unforgettable because one of his eyes is golden and the other green.
F1226 was born at the California Wolf Center on April 30, 2011. In August of 2013, the loba was transferred to U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Sivilleta Management Facility in New Mexico where she was paired with M1336 following year in hopes the wolves would whelp pups in captivity and then be released in the wild shortly thereafter. The pair failed to prove fruitful. On October 14, 2015, F1226 joined M1133 at the Wolf Conservation Center where we hope she’ll contribute to the recovery of her rare species via pups. Fun Fact – This beautiful loba is permanently plump (or big boned…) – she just built that way!
M1059 a.k.a. Diego
M1059 – “Diego” was born at the California Wolf Center on April 22 (Earth Day!) of 2007. He and his two brothers, M1058 (Chico) and M1060 (Durango), were transferred to the Seneca Zoo in 2011. The trio joined the Wolf Conservation Center family in November of 2015, but WCC was merely a pit-stop for M1058 and M1060. Just weeks after their arrival, they returned to west to reside at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Springs, CA. Although M1059 no longer lives with his brothers, the handsome dark lobo remains among family as his younger brother, M1133 (Rhett), also calls the WCC home. Today, M1059 lives with F1143 and we hope the two will contribute to the recovery of their rare species by having pups in spring of 2016.
A fun fact: the couple share the same “B’Earth Day!” F1143, however, is a year younger, born on April 22, 2008.
f1505 a.k.a. Trumpet
On the morning of May 4th, Mexican gray wolf F1143 gave birth to a single pup (f1505) – a robust little girl nicknamed “Trumpet” for her loud squeals.
Unbeknownst to the kiddo, Trumpet has been warming the hearts of a global audience via the WCC's remote webcams. But beyond being adorable, the pocket-size predator represents the Center's active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction.
m1506 a.k.a. Duffy
Just before midnight on May 25th, Mexican gray wolf F1126 (a.k.a. Belle) gave birth to three beautiful pups - two boys and a girl. m1506 (a.k.a. Duffy) was the smallest in the litter, and for his first 6 weeks had a single adorable lopped ear. In addition to being cute, he and his critically endangered littermates are valuable contributions to the recovery of their rare and at-risk species.
m1507 a.k.a. Maus
Just before midnight on May 25th, Mexican gray wolf F1126 (a.k.a. Belle) gave birth to three beautiful pups - two boys and a girl. m1507, a.k.a. Maus, looks a lot like his father - they share the same nose! In addition to being adorable, the critically endangered kiddos are valuable contributions to the recovery of their rare and at-risk species.
f1508 a.k.a. K.B.
Just before midnight on May 25th, Mexican gray wolf F1126 (a.k.a. Belle) gave birth to three beautiful pups - two boys and a girl called f1508 (aka K.B.). The darkest in color compared to her brothers, f1508 looks a bit like her father. In addition to being adorable, the critically endangered kiddos are valuable contributions to the recovery of their rare and at-risk species.
F1435 arrived at the Wolf Conservation Center from the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, IL in November of 2016. She lives on exhibit with Mexican gray wolf M1198 (“Alleno”). The dark beauty was born on May 29, 2015 and is the older sister to two wolves who received the “call of the wild” in April of 2016. As pups, her younger siblings were placed in the den of the Arizona-based Elk Horn Pack of wild wolves with the intention that the pack’s adults would raise the two with its own litter. In this process, known as “cross-fostering,” very young pups are moved from a litter at a zoo or wildlife center to a wild litter of similar age so that the receiving pack raises the pups as its own. The technique, which has proven successful with wolves and other wildlife, shows promise to improve the genetic diversity of the wild wolf population.
M1803, or “Moose” as he was named by Wolf Conservation Center staff, was born at the WCC in May 2010 along with his brother M1804 (“Thicket”). Once they were old enough, Thicket moved to St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge off the coast of Florida and Moose moved to the Beardsley Zoo in Connecticut! While at the zoo, Moose met and fell in love with F1563 (“Salty”) and they had three pups in 2014. The new family needed more space to grow so they came to the WCC in December 2014 and it’s a good thing they did because Salty gave birth to 7 pups in May 2015! Unfortunately two pups passed away but the family is doing very well and the five pups are healthy and rambunctious. Check out our YouTube videos and webcams to see the pups’ antics!
Early one morning in May of 2010, red wolf F1397 quietly gave birth to two beautiful boys, M1803 and M1804 (a.k.a. “Moose” and “Thicket”). Thanks to our webcams, a global audience enjoyed watching the elusive boys grow up and then joined our celebratory howls when both wolves were chosen to embark on new adventures beyond the WCC’s boundaries. Red wolf M1804 received the “call of the wild,” and was released on an island off the Florida peninsula. M1803’s adventure kept him closer to home, he was transferred to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo where he struck a love connection and fathered three kiddos of his own – M2075, F2074, and F2073! Because the expanded family outgrew their accommodations at the Zoo, with open arms the WCC welcomed M1803 back and with his new family in tow. On May 2, 2015, M2075 became a big brother and today the multigenerational family of nine unknowingly educate a global audience of webcam watchers about the importance and plight of their rare species.
m2116 was born on May 2, 2015 at the Wolf Conservation Center to parents M1803 and F1563. Life looks bright for this young wolf and hopefully one day he will be able to live in the wild like his ancestors!
m2117 was born on May 2, 2015 at the Wolf Conservation Center to parents M1803 and F1563. Life looks bright for this young wolf and hopefully one day he will be able to live in the wild like his ancestors!
m2118 was born on May 2, 2015 at the Wolf Conservation Center to parents M1803 and F1563. Life looks bright for this young wolf and hopefully one day he will be able to live in the wild like his ancestors!
m2119 was born on May 2, 2015 at the Wolf Conservation Center to parents M1803 and F1563. Life looks bright for this young wolf and hopefully one day he will be able to live in the wild like his ancestors!
f2121 has the special honor of being the only female red wolf pup at the Wolf Conservation Center. “Charlotte,” as WCC staff and webcam viewers call f2121, was born on May 2, 2015 to parents M1803 and F1563. Life looks bright for this young wolf and hopefully one day she will be able to live in the wild like her ancestors!
F1568 (“Argo”) arrived at the Wolf Conservation Center from the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, VA in November of 2016. She lives on exhibit with red wolf M1803 (“Moose”) and they will be given the opportunity to breed during the 2016-2017 mating season. F1568, born on April 3, 2007, is the third red wolf from her litter to call the WCC home. Her brothers, M1565 and M1566, have since opened new chapters to their lives at other facilities participating in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. Although we miss these boys, the WCC family is head over heels over their darling sister.