Archive: Lead the Pack to the Detroit Zoo for National Wolf Awareness Week

October 15 event highlights wolf conservation efforts

October 8, 2018

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is kicking off National Wolf Awareness Week with a special celebration at the Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness on Monday, October 15. Through zookeeper talks and hands-on activities, guests can learn about gray wolves Waziyata and Kaskapahtew and discover what the DZS is doing to protect and conserve this species and their wild habitats.

Zookeeper talks will take place at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., offering fun facts about Wazi and Kaska, who arrived at the Detroit Zoo in 2015 when the 2-acre Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness opened. Through an interactive activity, guests will be able to put their sense of smell to the test – comparing it to the keen abilities of wolves – and learn about wolf conservation efforts in which the DZS is involved.

“The Detroit Zoological Society is working to ensure the protection of wolves in Michigan,” said Scott Carter, DZS chief life sciences officer. “Wolves are an essential part of healthy ecosystems and are important in our state and other parts of the Great Lakes basin.”

The DZS is a partner in the Wolf-Moose Project on Isle Royale, a remote wilderness island and national park in northern Michigan that is home to a population of wolves and moose. This project is the longest continuous study of any predator-prey system in the world. DZS staff have been engaged in research on Isle Royale, studying the island’s unique ecology in order to better understand the impacts of wolves and moose – their primary prey on the island.

The DZS also joined forces with other animal welfare and conservation groups and Native American tribes to oppose the designation of wolves as a game species in Michigan. A victory for these organizations came in 2017 when a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling maintained federal protections for wolves in the Great Lakes region.

The Detroit Zoo’s Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness 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 many vantage points around the habitat – including from the historic Log Cabin, which features an observation area with expansive glass viewing windows that allow people to get nose to snout with the wolves.