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Saying goodbye to the Funny River Five

By Bonney Bowman Photojournalist: Jacob Curtis - 7:36 PM July 9, 2014

They were the one bright spot in the destruction that was the Funny River Fire.

Six weeks ago, firefighters brought five wolf pups to the Alaska Zoo.

The wolf pups, nicknamed the Funny River Five, were in bad shape, punctured by porcupine quills and in need of around-the-clock care.

Wednesday it was a different story. The pups have become a popular attraction at the zoo.

Their caretakers have been thrilled with the progress they’ve made.

“They’ve tripled in size, their activity level is obviously off the charts compared to how they were when they were kind of stumbling around when they first arrived and they were two weeks old,” said Alaska Zoo executive director Patrick Lampi.

But sadly for some, their full recovery means soon it will be time for their fans to say goodbye.

Tuesday morning, the pups will fly to their new home in Minneapolis.

“We don’t have any special plans, no cake or anything obviously, it’s not appropriate, but I’m sure all of our staff will be here at least once or twice to say goodbye and there’s probably going to be a few tears,” Lampi said.

Zoo staff say another reason the pups are leaving next week is their size. They’re small enough now that they can fit into two kennels so no pup has to be alone during their trip.

The companionship will help ease their transition to their new life in Minneapolis.

Monday is the last day you can see the pups at the zoo.

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