After almost 60 years caring for wolves, Utah’s Hogle Zoo is set to transfer lone wolf, Angel, and end its participation with the North American Gray Wolf species.
“We know this will be a difficult transition for many in our community,” said Erica Hansen, Community Relations Manager. “Wolves are among our more popular animals and we will all miss them.”
After Glacier passed away in the fall of 2018, Hogle Zoo began working on the best possible situation for remaining wolf and companion animal, Angel.
The Association of Zoo and Aquariums works with the Species Survival Plan to ensure healthy, thriving populations of animals born and bred in zoos. Gray wolves currently have healthy numbers in the wild and are not considered endangered, therefore, the zoo SSP is no longer participating in managed populations of the species. Meaning, zoos are not breeding gray wolves so acquiring wolves gets complicated.
“We absolutely do not take animals from the wild unless it’s a rescue,” Hansen said. “Without an SSP for gray wolves, we would begin a cycle of acquiring, transporting and replacing aging animals without partnerships.”
Angel, for instance, was brought in to keep Glacier company after senior wolf, Neph passed away in 2017 at 14 years of age.
Without a pack here at Hogle, Angel, a senior herself at almost 12 years, will be sent to a wolf sanctuary in the Northwest.
After some exhibit modifications, Hogle Zoo will introduce four rescued red foxes, a species native to Utah. “The foxes are young and playful and they live right here in our own backyard,” Hansen said. “Plus they are rescued animals that needed a good home so we’re happy we can offer them a great quality of life while educating our guests on some of Utah’s interesting species.”
Angel’s transfer will happen once the winter storms subside both in Salt Lake City as well as the Northwest.