Máni was born in 2017 to Timber and Wotan. He was named after the Germanic moon god, which connected him with his father, who was also named after a Germanic deity.
Máni grew to be the largest pup in the pack, and proved to have the confidence to tower over his brothers though he has a fairly lazy personality. If he can convince humans to toss him treats while he lies quietly, he’ll do it. When he does engage in training games, he is very smart and quick to pick up new things. He’s frequently the wolf standing by the fence checking out the new people and often escorts tours around the enclosure edge.
Aspen was born to Timber and Wotan in 2017. There were five puppies raised at Wolf Park that year. Instead of joining an existing pack, Aspen, Máni, Niko, Sparrow, and Khewa were raised to be a new ‘puppy-pack’, and they’ve been a happy group so far.
Aspen is a large and laid-back wolf, though he often likes to start games of ‘keep-away’. The park has a rowboat which photographers like to use to photograph the wolves standing on the shore of the lake. Aspen was the first puppy to ride in the boat – he loved it and still does.
Niko came to Wolf Park in 2017 from Wolf Mountain along with his sister, Khewa. They joined the pups born at Wolf Park that year to form a puppy pack of five. Niko is the only black colored pup in the group and easy for visitors to identify.
His favorite toy in the puppy nursery was a stuffed duck, earning him the nickname, ‘Niko-Beako’. Now that he’s older, he still likes finding sticks, bones, boxes and other things to carry around or shred. Niko enjoys training, following people around, and playing with his sister.
Khewa and her brother, Niko, came to Wolf Park in 2017 from Wolf Mountain to be raised alongside the pups born at Wolf Park that year. Khewa is easily distinguished from the other wolves in the main pack by her light grey fur, short tail and short muzzle. She darkened and grew into her features as she matured, although she still has the shortest tail and a slight dip to her muzzle.
Khewa quickly became known as the ‘mud puppy’. She loves water, mud, muck and mire. If there was something stinky which could be rolled up, she was sure to find it. She loved to greet her human friends with enthusiastic kisses, usually leaving a trail of muddy paw prints on them.
Sparrow was the smallest of the pups born in 2017 to Wotan and Timber. She remained on the small side, but did grow larger than her mother.
Sparrow is considered a genius among the staff. She loves to train and she’s very good at learning new skills. The staff nicknamed her ‘Hermione’, because she used to push other pups out of the way if she knew the answer to a training game. She’s also an explorer with no fear of new places.
April 6, 2012
Kanti was born to Dharma and Wolfgang along with his 5 siblings. He started fussing shortly after being born and we found he was literally a “born complainer”. Called Mama’s Boy as a puppy due to his tendency for whining, Kanti grew into a big bouncy bundle of wolf. Kanti acts big and brave, but the staff knows otherwise. He was once frightened by Gypsum, the gray fox, who threatened him through the fence. Kanti hid behind his brother and has never lived down the indignity.
Timber is a petite wolf who was born at Safari North Zoo, in Brainerd, Minnesota, in the spring of 2014. She grew up at Wildlife Encounters, an education/rescue facility in Omaha, Nebraska. They agreed to raise her, socialize her, and help find her a home as they were not equipped to look after a wolf for its whole life. They asked if we might provide her with a permanent home and we said yes.
In 2017, she and Wotan became the parents of five pups. She still enjoys visits with the male pups, but even they can’t handle her level of energy for long. The interns have made her a variety of toys to keep her occupied. One of her favorites is cow-hide balls, which she tosses around happily. She also loves interesting scents and anything she can tear apart.
Born around May 12, 2012
Joker is a silver-phase red fox who was found under a porch at a Indiana State Park. It was clear from his behavior (he was not afraid of humans) that he was not a wild fox, and he needed a home in human care. Since Wolf Park’s red fox, Scarlette, was alone, the park was happy to find a nice male to share her enclosure.
In April of 2015, Joker came to live with Scarlette. The two became fast friends and have lived together ever since. Overall, Joker is a calm and confident fox tod (male fox) who enjoys basking in the sun and working on husbandry behaviors with his caregivers. His favorite food is an egg and he is very good at hiding, or caching, his food and then watching for Scarlette to leave hers unattended so that he can take it from her and add it to his stash!
Born May 12, 2014
Scarlette was brought to Wolf Park in December of 2014 from the Lakeside Nature Center in Missouri. She was a rescue from a private owner, and wasn’t a candidate for release. However, she is a phenomenal animal ambassador to humans on behalf of her wild cousins.
In the spring of 2015, Wolf Park located a male fox as a companion, and they spend most of their time together. Overall Scarlette is a very vocal vixen (female fox) who enjoys exploring her enclosure and watching the world around her. Wolf Park encourages our animals to exhibit natural behaviors and one of Scarlette’s has to be “mouse pouncing”, which is a hunting behavior, which she shows off on a small trampoline during some of our programs.
Kestrel is one of two gray fox kits that arrived at Wolf Park in May 2019. Our search and the subsequent summer of socializing these two was well worth the effort. Kestrel has proven to be wildly entertaining. He was the first of the two kits to climb. And ever since, he has climbed everything he can find – whether it was a wall in his nursery, a cat tree, or a real tree. We will often hide food or treats up high for Kestrel to find, but the real challenge isn’t retrieving the food, but keeping it a secret from his brother!
Kestrel loves to show off his agility at a Wolf Park specialty tour by climbing some of the trees and logs in the enclosures as he forages for the food that the handlers have hidden. Sometimes, he is so excited about the chance at climbing that he will take the food down, leave it on the ground, and climb another tree to look for another goodie. These types of behaviors are healthy for gray foxes in human care because it allows the animals to exhibit natural behaviors. Gray foxes love to climb, so we provide ample opportunities for Kestrel to do so at Wolf Park.
Lark is one of two gray fox kits that arrived at Wolf Park in May 2019. As a kit, or baby fox, Lark perfected his signature move, the power nap. To this day, he loves to find the comfiest, most aerial place he can reach outside to curl up. These power naps are much needed, for Lark and our fox caregivers, because keeping up with Kestrel’s antics is quite exhausting.
Lark has proven himself to be the more confident of the two gray foxes when it comes to crowds of strangers, seminars, or sponsor visits. He is quite the showboat and seems to pose whenever the cameras come out. And he eagerly approaches new people to take food from hands or to train. As we spend in excess of 10,000 hours of socialization time with the animals during their early months of life, this helps them to remain calm, unlike their wild counterparts, while they live in human care. The benefits of this are tenfold to foxes like Lark and Kestrel because we are able to do a lot of husbandry behaviors without them getting stressed out.
OUR OTHER SPECIES
Wolf park has been home to a small herd of bison since 1982. Our original bison came to us from the Columbia Park Zoo and we’ve continued to grow the herd since then.
Currently Wolf Park is home to 13 bison who give visitors a chance to see the national mammal of the United States and a historic Indiana species. The bison also give our behavior and training seminars a unique species to observe and sometimes train. They are often a favorite among our summer camps and youth programs.
Every summer Wolf Park brings in guinea pigs from the local rescue to assist children’s camps in learning about safe animal handling, training, and more. In 2018, in the rescue also sent a rabbit. Sodapop was so wonderful, that the park decided to make him a permanent addition.
During the summer, Sodapop teaches kids about respecting animals’ boundaries and basic training. During the winter, he helps out in the office. He’s great at greeting UPS and FexEx drivers, but his phone answering skills are still limited.
Sodapop is a laid back rabbit who likes to be where the action is. He’s an escape expert, and keeps the interns on their toes keeping track of him. He prefers spinach to carrots, to everyone’s surprise.