Alaska Zoo cares for abandoned wolf pups
The Alaska Zoo has a new, adorable attraction: Five wolf pups, refugees from the Funny River Fire.
Zoo Director Patrick Lampi says this is the first time in his 28 years at the zoo that they’ve had orphaned wolf pups in their care.
Biologists suspect their parents ran from the fire. Then, a porcupine wandered into their den trying to escape the flames.
Injured and alone, a firefighter came to the pups’ rescue. They would have died without human help.
The three boys and two girls aren’t out of the woods yet. Porcupine quills still in their bodies can migrate into vital organs.
“It is a little stressful on us not knowing if they’re going to make it or not, but doing everything we possibly can to help them along,” Lampi said.
Keepers are pulling out the quills as they surface on the pup’s skin, but it’s painful work.
The good news is the pups are eating well, sucking down the puppy formula replacing their mother’s milk.
“Once their stomachs are accustomed to the formula, and most animals let you know if they’re not getting enough, then we can start increasing it up to what the calorie intake that it should be,” Lampi said.
Improving their health is the focus now. The pups will stay at the Alaska Zoo until they’re better. But long term, keepers are looking for a new home.
There’s been no shortage of offers.
“We’re still going through the permitting process and the final decision hasn’t been made, but it’s looking real good for the pups as far as them being able to stay together and go to a good place,” said Ken Marsh with the Division of Wildlife Conservation.
Zoo staff are working around the clock, feeding the pups every three hours.
The zoo is a nonprofit, so any donations to help care for the pups are welcome.
Go to http://alaskazoo.org to make a donation.