Edmonton zoo gets new arctic wolf

Arctic wolf Tundra walks around his enclosure at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, in Edmonton Alta., on...

Arctic wolf Tundra walks around his enclosure at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, in Edmonton Alta., on Friday May 16, 2014. Tundra comes to the Valley Zoo from Natura Artis Magistra in Amsterdam. Tundra joins the zoo's other arctic wolf, Shilah. David Bloom/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

Allison Salz, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:28 PM ET

EDMONTON — Shilah the Arctic Wolf has a new playmate at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, nearly one year after her six-year-old sister, Kayok, died last summer.

The zoo gave the public, and the media, a peek at the newest addition to their modest wolf-pack Friday afternoon.

Two-year-old Tundra arrived in Edmonton in January, shipped from a zoo facility in Amsterdam, said Wade Krasnow, animal care team leader.

The new wolf is said to be very "curious" about his new surroundings, and his new pen-mate.

He also proved to be very curious about all of the cameras pointed at him Friday — even grabbing a microphone cover off of a CBC unit. Tundra threw and tossed it in the air, but the fun ended when Shilah snatched it up when he wasn't looking.

While she chewed on it, he didn't dare approach — and zoo officials say so far, this display is indicative of their relationship.

At least for now, she's the dominant one, and has made sure Tundra knows it.

"They're getting on fairly well. I think she's a bit of a boss," said Krasnow.

"He came near her just a little while ago and she gave him a look and he just backed off."

Krasnow said the zoo chose a male roommate for Shilah because they feared bringing in a strange female wolf might make for too much competition. They would likely fight, he said.

Krasnow says Shilah and Tundra were introduced to each other through mesh netting, a few weeks after he arrived from Amsterdam, allowing them to get a sense of each other.

Zookeepers gradually integrated them together, Krasnow said.

For now the pair are still getting used to one another, so zoo officials aren't too sure if they will end up mating, but say that it could happen next year.

"We may have babies in the future. But we're not crossing our fingers," he said.

"She's seven years old, so she's a bit older. But wolves in captivity tend to live longer than those in the wild so if she has pups, that would be a bonus for us."


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