The Buffalo Zoo's gray wolves will leave this week.
The pair of wolves, who reside in the Arctic Edge exhibit, presented by Tops Friendly Markets, will leave for their new home on Wednesday.
After careful consideration, Buffalo Zoo officials decided to relocate siblings Timber and Willow. The young pair, who will be 2 in April, arrived to the Buffalo Zoo in September from the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park in Watertown. Their arrival was part of the Buffalo Zoo's opening of its newest signature exhibit, Arctic Edge, where the two wolves were to have found their permanent home.
Keeper staff has kept a close eye on the pair since its arrival, and observed the wolves were not settling into the new habitat as expected. Continued observations over the six-month period led to the decision to seek an alternate arrangement.
They will be transported to another accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that offers a different enclosure configuration, and may appeal better to the wolves' juvenile energy and shy behavioral characteristics.
"We will always keep the best interests of the animals in mind," Buffalo Zoo President and CEO Donna Fernandes said. "We love the wolves and, like the public, we have enjoyed having them here, but we recognized the difficulties they were having and feel we have made the best choice for their overall comfort and well-being."
In the spring, modifications will be made to the former wolf enclosure in Arctic Edge to welcome arctic fox. Smaller, more curious and social, it is anticipated the arctic fox will be a fitting addition to the exhibit. Arctic fox are native to the regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Acquisition details are still being finalized and will be shared with the public when more information becomes available.