The Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness is located in the southwest corner of the Detroit Zoo, near the Australian Outback Adventure. This 2-acre naturalistic habitat features grassy hills and meadows, native Michigan trees, a flowing stream and pond, dens and elevated rock outcroppings where the wolves can survey their surroundings. Visitors can observe gray wolves Kaskapahtew (“Kaska”) and Renner explore their surroundings from many different vantage points.
Signage along a path overlooking the habitat provides educational information about gray wolves including their status in Michigan, the sounds they make and their body language, and their close relatives in the animal world. A coin-operated telescope is also available for guests who wish to take a closer look.
This habitat surrounds the historic Log Cabin, which features an observation area with expansive viewing windows that allow guests to get nose to snout with Kaska. Inside the Log Cabin, a National Geographic photography exhibition called “The Hidden Life of Wolves” is on display. It includes 21 images by award-winning filmmakers Jim and Jamie Dutcher, who observed wolves for six years at Idaho’s Sawtooth Wilderness and documented their behaviors. This exhibition is intended to dispel myths about wolves and educate visitors about the importance of protecting them.