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The Pack is Back! The wolves return to Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo is celebrating the return of wolves after a 16-year absence from the animal collection. Three male European wolves, named Dalls, Puika and Ilknis have been transferred from the Highland Wildlife Park and have settled into their new enclosure in the Zoo. The remaining male at the Highland Wildlife Park has been joined by a female in the hope that they will form a breeding pair. This is just one of a series of moves between the two parks, both of which are owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).
The wolf was once widespread throughout Europe but due to hunting, habitat loss and diseases passed onto them by domestic dogs they are now confined to small pockets in Italy, Poland, France, Portugal, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain and throughout Eastern Europe. They howl mostly during twilight and when leaving and returning from a hunt. They don’t, as many believe, howl when there is a full moon. Wolves are often the topic of myth and folklore and as a result capture the imagination of the public.
Iain Valentine, Head of Animals, Conservation & Education for RZSS, said:
“We’re really pleased to welcome back the wolves to Edinburgh Zoo. They are an iconic species and were missed by both visitors and staff when they left the collection. We also recognised that, as they are so popular, they should also remain at the Highland Wildlife Park where our newly formed pair will hopefully contribute to the breeding programme for this species.”
• Two of the males at Edinburgh Zoo, Puika and Ilknis, are five years old and Dalls is 4
years old. The male at the Highland Wildlife Park is Hans who is four years old. He has been joined
by Elara, a five year old female who came from the Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar.
• Wolves are extremely adaptable and can live in many different habitats.
• In the wild, wolves hunt together in packs and eat a variety of prey including bison, elk and reindeer.
• Wolves have great stamina and can chase their prey over long distances.
• Wolves became extinct in the UK in the 18th Century.
• Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park are owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, a registered charity, charity no SC004064.
• The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, established in 1909, is currently celebrating its centenary year.
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