New pup is an important part of the conservation of the species, and it's pretty darn cute, too!
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (CMZ) welcomed a brand new wolf puppy on Friday, April 19, at 5:10 a.m. Mom, Luna, and the baby are doing well; the puppy is strong and squirmy, and it is growing already. Mom is acting maternal.
Last year, Luna and father Navarro had four babies: Bluestem, Hope, Shadow, and Phoenix. This year she only had the single pup, and mom and baby have joined the pack as wolf packs stay together in the wild when new litters are born.
The new baby joins only about 431 Mexican wolves in existence, with 131 in the wild and 300 in human care. The species hails from central Mexico and the southwest U.S., but has been in trouble since the 1950s. It has been declared an endangered species since 1973.
The CMZ is part of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, run by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, so as the pup gets older, it could go on to be released in the wild to provide genetic diversity to the existing wolf population.
This baby is especially important because the CMZ only had a pack of bachelor wolves prior, but added breeding pairs as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. Luna and Navarro are the only pair that has produced offspring.
If you want to see this new zoo baby, currently it is with mom in the wolf exhibit. However, for a bit of time, the pair is hunkered down in an underground den, so you can only see them via the live camera that is installed in the den.
Watch the adorable, two-day-old Mexican wolf pup cuddle Luna's face in their cozy den.
Courtesy of CMZ YouTube.
Have you seen the Mexican wolves at CMZ? What are your favorite zoo babies? Let us know in the comments.