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April 10, 2018 > Grey wolves have new home at Oakland Zoo

Grey wolves have new home at Oakland Zoo

Submitted By Erin Harrison

A pair of gray wolves have settled into their habitat at Oakland Zoo?s California Trail. The two wolves, Sequoia and Siskiyou, arrived in late December; however, due to the nature of wolves being skittish and shy, zookeepers allowed them to adapt to their new home slowly. Additionally, zookeepers have been conducting ?Wolf Acclimation Sessions? for the past month. The process includes groups of volunteers, docents, staff, and zoo members visiting the wolf exhibit at scheduled times, in an effort to get the wolves used to people watchers. Zookeepers believe the two wolves are now camera-ready for a press debut.

The wolves are five years old and were relocated to Oakland as part of a conservation partnership with Oakland Zoo and California Wolf Center. The partnership includes an agreement where Oakland Zoo helps support the Wolf Center?s Range Steward program, a program that supports wolves, livestock, and people thriving on the landscape together. Sequoia and Siskiyou are animal ambassadors for wolves in the wild and the successful gray wolf comeback in California.

?California Wolf Center is honored to be working with Oakland Zoo to provide a dynamic new home for the gray wolves Sequoia and Siskiyou. We are excited for this pair?s future in the Bay Area and have the utmost faith in Oakland Zoo staff to provide an extraordinary life for these animals,? said Christina Souto, California Wolf Center?s Director of Marketing and Communications.

Telling Sequoia and Siskiyou?s story and the return of the gray wolf to California is an important conservation message Oakland Zoo is dedicated to sharing with the public. The human-wildlife conflict is, and will continue to be, an important conservation message to Zoo visitors. It should be noted that both of these wolves were born in captivity and did not come from the wild.

?Our hope is Sequoia and Siskiyou will inspire people to respect and connect with the Gray Wolf, their species having been extricated from our state out of misunderstanding and fear,? said Amy Gotliffe, Oakland Zoo?s Conservation Director. This pair will also represent the exciting return of the Gray Wolf to California, and how Oakland Zoo, California Wolf Center, and California ranchers are teaming up to protect and restore this important species.?

Sequoia is a male wolf and was born at the California Wolf Center. He is described by zookeepers as very sweet with a dominant personality. Siskiyou (female) was born at McCleery Buffalo Wolf Foundation in Montana. According to zookeepers, the five-year-old pair appears to be getting along very well. Wolves, unlike dogs, mate for life; therefore, they take time to develop relationships. Oakland Zoo hopes Siskiyou will have a litter of pups next year. Creating a pack is important to the emotional health of wolves. Pups born to the pair will remain at Oakland Zoo, in the same habitat as their parents.

?Siskiyou and Sequoia are making quite a home for themselves in their new two-acre habitat,? said Darren E. Minier, Assistant Director, Animal Care, Conservation, and Research at Oakland Zoo. ?We?re happy to care for these two special individuals, and excited for the family pack they'll create together. They are stunning ambassadors for their counterparts in the wild, and we?re excited to share them and their stories when California Trail opens this June!?

Zookeepers confirmed the wolves have each created seven-day beds throughout their exhibit, ensuring they have a variety of comfortable sleeping options. The two-acre wolf habitat at Oakland Zoo?s California Trail is complete with a pool, trees, dens, and plenty of cover for these naturally reclusive animals. The California Trail at Oakland Zoo opens to the public in June 2018.

Oakland Zoo
9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland
(510) 632-9525

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