Detroit Zoo welcomes new female gray wolf

Evan James Carter
The Detroit News

Huntington Woods — The Detroit Zoo's 9-year-old male gray wolf won't have to be a lone wolf anymore after zoo officials welcomed a 3-year-old female to the pack.

Renner arrived at the Detroit Zoo in the first week of September, but Monday was her first day in the Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness alongside Kaskapahtew, or Kaska for short.

He's been a zoo resident since 2015, officials said. 

Renner came from the Wildlife Science Center in Stacy, Minnesota, where she was born in captivity.

Kaska's former mate, Waziyata, died in June and zoo officials hope Renner and Kaska will successfully mate in the next year. Breeding season for gray wolves is late winter. After a two-month gestation, four to six pups are born.

“We are pleased to welcome Renner to her new home and happy for Kaska to once again have a companion,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society. “The two are getting along well, and we are optimistic they’ll start a family in the coming year. Family is a critical part of the fabric of wolf society and is important to their well-being.”

The 3-year-old female gray wolf joins 9-year-old male gray wolf Kaskapahtew, known as Kaska, who has lived at the Zoo since 2015. His former mate Waziyata died in June

The two wolves will reside in the 2-acre Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness, which features grassy hills and meadows, native Michigan trees, a flowing stream and pond, dens and elevated rock outcroppings from which the wolves can survey their surroundings.

Zoo visitors are able to see the animals from multiple vantage points around the habitat, including from a log cabin observation area, which features expansive glass windows that allow people to get nose-to-snout with the wolves.

Twitter: @EvanJamesCarter