ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness at the Detroit Zoo has a new family member: Renner, a 3-year-old female gray wolf from the Wildlife Science Center in Stacy, Minnesota.
Renner will serve as a companion for 9-year-old male gray wolf Kaskaphatew, also known as Kaska, who has lived at the Detroit Zoo since 2015. Kaska's former mate, Waziyata, died in June, according to a release from the Detroit Zoo.
"We are pleased to welcome Renner to her new home and happy for Kaska to once again have a companion," said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society. "The two are getting along well, and we are optimistic they'll start a family in the coming year. Family is a critical part of the fabric of wolf society and is important to their well-being."
The Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness site is composed of grassy hills, a stream and pond, Michigan trees and elevated rock structures strewn across two acres, which Kaska can now enjoy with his new partner, according to the release.
"The DZS is working to ensure the protection of wolves in Michigan," Carter said. "Wolves are an essential part of healthy ecosystems and are important in our state and other parts of the Great Lakes basin."
Gray wolf breeding season occurs late in the winter season, female wolves typically give birth to four to six pups after a two-month gestation, according to the Detroit Zoo.
The Detroit Zoological Society will launch National Wolf Awareness Week with a celebration at the Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness on Oct. 20. At the celebration, guests will learn about efforts to protect and conserve wolves in their wild habitats from zookeepers.