Alaska Zoo welcomes new male wolverine
The Alaska Zoo, in Anchorage, welcomed a new male wolverine earlier this week. Jumbo arrived from Sweden on Wednesday.
The 3-year-old male is on exhibit, but is quarantined from his partner Olga for the next few weeks. Olga came from a zoo in Russia last fall.
Zookeeper Kora Isakson said the goal is to hopefully breed the pair, but that might take a while.
“We’re kind of just watching their behavior. Right now, she is not in love with him. We did get her a boyfriend, but she’s not ecstatic,” she laughed.
Jumbo was supposed to arrive in Alaska around the same time as Olga, but permitting took longer than expected.
It’s been a few years since the Alaska Zoo had a wolverine exhibit. Isakson said she hopes they can teach people more about the animals that are so elusive in the wild.
“A lot of people don’t know what a wolverine is. Is it the X-Men character? Is it a wolf of some kind?” Isakson said. “They are a form of weasel. They’re not a bear. Though their nickname is the skunk bear. They’re frequently mistaken for bear.”
If you’re wondering where the name Jumbo came from, Isakson said the zoo in Sweden named him because they thought it would be a good fit for a wolverine going to America. She said the name seems to fit because he’s “chunkier than Olga.”
The zoo’s policy is to keep the names the animals have when they get here. Olga was named after her zookeeper in Russia.