Did You Know?
Bald Eagles can lift up to 4 pounds!
Gray wolves are the largest members of the dog family, Canidae. There are many subspecies of the gray wolf, including the dingo, arctic wolf, and domestic dog. Wolves have thick fur with a dense undercoat, which provides them with protection from cold. Generally these wolves range in color from black to nearly white, and all shades of gray or brown in between. Wolves live and hunt in packs, allowing them to take on larger prey, and they have very large feet with some webbing between the toes, which helps them run on snowy surfaces.
Wolf social structure is quite complex, consisting of a dominance hierarchy. A wolf’s place in the hierarchy determines when it is allowed to eat and is enforced by behavior cues like muzzle licking and tail position. Wolves are easily recognized by their howl, which helps pack members locate each other and keep rival packs out of their territory. Wolves also use scent marking to communicate. Only certain wolves in the pack breed, but all individuals help care for the pups.
There are 2 wolves that call PPZ their home. Bella and Tala are both female. Bella is 13 years old and came to Potter Park in 2009. Tala arrived in January of 2012 from a zoo in New York and she is 3 years old. Because of their thick fur, Michigan winters don’t faze them, especially when they have cozy shelters lined with blankets and straw.