April 12, 2004
Named for Irenaus ‘Renki’ Eibl-Eibesfeldt, a well-known German ethologist, Renki was removed from the den on April 12, 2004. His eyes were already open.
Renki grew steadily into a large, handsome male. He is one of the easier wolves to spot in the main pack thanks to the crooked, black line that runs down his nose.
Once the pups joined the main pack, Renki began pestering Chetan and Ruedi, trying to see how far he could push them. Chetan did not enjoy this but failed to hold his own against the growing Renki for long. After Chetan’s removal from the pack in 2005, Renki rose definitively to the rank of beta male.
When Wolfgang and Wotan were added to the pack, Renki spent a lot of time making sure they knew where he stood in the pack. This lasted until the brothers noticed that the odds were in their favor and Renki sank to the bottom of the pecking order.
After his drop in rank, a kinder, gentler Renki emerged who was much friendlier toward people than the old Renki had been. Renki had had a tendency to be annoying with new visitors, now he was very agreeable to “playing nice”. To help Renki interact with visitors without becoming over stimulated, the staff taught him to use the teeter-totter. While bouncing on the board, Renki could be around people and earn treats, without seeing if sponsors enjoyed being jumped on.
In October of 2009, Renki was removed from the main pack. He joined Tristan, and later Ayla, to form a trio of their own. Renki is much happier in quieter company. He and Ayla frequently go on wolf-bison demonstrations together and are some of the Park’s best hunters.