Busch Gardens recently adopted an 8-week-old Gray wolf pup named Boise found on an Idaho roadside.
Idaho state officials transported the male pup by airplane to the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport on June 20, where a team of wolf experts from Busch Gardens met their new charge.
According to the park, Boise is being slowly introduced to his new pack mates and will one day become part of the park’s animal ambassador team that helps teach people the important role wolves play in the wild. Once he’s acclimated, he will be introduced to park guests.
The pup was found by campers in May near the resort town of Ketchum, Idaho. They believed he was a lost domestic puppy and contacted a local veterinarian, who then contacted Idaho Fish and Game officials.
“Boise has been given a second chance at life thanks to the leadership and support of Idaho Fish and Game, Zoo Boise and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries,” said Jay Tacey, zoological manager for Busch Gardens.
The officials worked with a local zoo and confirmed through DNA testing that the pup was a Gray wolf. After unsuccessful attempts to locate the pup’s pack, Idaho officials began looking for a suitable home for the rescued animal, Busch Gardens reports.
Officials in Idaho chose Busch Gardens as Boise’s new home because of the park’s extensive experience with wolf training, husbandry and education programs. The park has 10 wolves in three different packs, including a pair of 6-week-old pups the park bought from a Montana breeder.
“Because of our 12-year experience with wolves and the fact that we already had two wolf pups at the park played a major role in the decision by Idaho state officials to choose Busch Gardens for the pup’s new home,” said Tacey.
Tacey reports that Boise took to his new pack, which consists of the two other pups and Mia, a German short-haired pointer serving as their surrogate mother. Mia is the pack leader and will make sure the pups stay submissive.
The three young ones will one day be introduced into one of the park’s mature packs.