Mum Elara and dad Puika, the resident European grey wolves, recently delighted staff at the Park when five new pups were born on 25th May. Now six weeks old, the playful bundles of fur are still shy, but are starting to venture out into their large 2,000m² enclosure called Wolf Wood.
Although it will be some time yet before it is known whether the pups are male or female, two of the wolf pups have been named Ruby or Reuben and one Forty as just last week they celebrated their milestone 40th anniversary of the Park’s creation. Various competitions will take place to name the other three little wolf pups.
First opening its doors to the public in the summer of 1972, the Park, seven miles from Aviemore, was set up to establish a collection of Scottish wildlife, past and present. Although more recently the Park has broadened its remit to include cold weather adapted species from around the world.
Douglas Richardson, Animal Collection Manager at the Highland Wildlife Park, said:
“The wolf has been an iconic species for the Park virtually since its opening in 1972, and it is doubly satisfying that after a 12 year gap we have had this breeding success during our anniversary year. We have made a number of changes to how we manage the species over recent years and it is personally very rewarding to watch this litter being reared.
“The pups, especially one particularly bold individual, are now beginning to wander around the large wooded enclosure, which does seem to cause their mother some anxiety. The Park is visited by quite a number of people with a special interest in wolves and it is hoped that this latest breeding success will generate further interest in this much maligned species, especially as it is an animal that formally roamed over most of the country”.
About Wolf Wood
• Wolf Wood was opened by HRH the Princess Royal, the patron of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland who owns the Park, on 8th September 2010.
• A £300,000 development with a viewing platform and covering 2,000m² was built with help from the Royal Engineers (75 Engineer Regiment, 5 Armoured Engineer Squadron and 14 Geographic Squadron).
• Female Elara was born in May 2004 and is originally from the Wild Wood Trust.
• Male Puika arrived in 2010 and is originally from Riga Zoo in Latvia.
About the Highland Wildlife Park
• The Highland Wildlife Park is owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), a registered charity, charity no SC004064. For further information on all our conservation projects and events, please visit our websites www.highlandwildlifepark.org or www.rzss.org.uk
• You can also find the Highland Wildlife Park on social media:
- Facebook www.facebook.com/
- Twitter www.twitter.com/
- YouTube www.youtube.com/
• The Highland Wildlife Park specialises in Scottish species, past and present, and other cold weather adapted animals from around the world.
• This June the Highland Wildlife Park celebrates its 40th anniversary. Opened in 1972, the Park is located in 200 acres within the Cairngorms National Park.
• The Highland Wildlife Park is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). BIAZA represents its member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums. For further information please telephone 020 7449 6351.