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New wolf pup makes its debut

Newest pack member named Rieka

Keith Vandervort
Posted 6/30/21

ELY – The newest addition to the Ambassador Exhibit pack at the International Wolf Center Interpretive Center here received her new name last week.Meet Rieka (pronounced Rye-kuh). Her name …

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New wolf pup makes its debut

Newest pack member named Rieka

Posted

ELY – The newest addition to the Ambassador Exhibit pack at the International Wolf Center Interpretive Center here received her new name last week.
Meet Rieka (pronounced Rye-kuh). Her name means “power of the wolf, peaceful ruler, power of the home,” according to IWF staff.
Her name was chosen through an online naming contest as she was introduced to the fans and supporters of the Ely wolf exhibit and education facility.
Rieka turned 40 days old on July 1. She weighs just over eight pounds and is gaining about one-third of a pound per day, according to IWC wolf curator Lori Schmidt.
Rieka is in a socialization period and is kept in an indoor/outdoor enclosure fenced off from the Exhibit Pack enclosure that holds the five-year-old Arctic wolves, Axel and Grayson.
Rieka began to show signs of guard hair, or her adult hair growth, over the weekend and she is raising her ears as she responds to various sounds.
“She is also doing some growling and shaking her head as she plays with her toys,” Schmidt told a visitor Monday morning. Rieka scurried for cover when “the boys (Axel and Grayson)” began howling just outside her enclosure.
Rieka will remain isolated from her two pack mates until she reaches about 30 pounds and is big enough to handle the playful behavior of Axel and Grayson. For the next three months she will have constant human interaction with Wolf Center staff, as well as daily viewings from visitors to the Wolf Center.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, some restrictions will remain in place for Wolf Center visitors to view Rieka this summer.
“Outdoor viewing opportunities will require pre-registration to participate in a 15-minute pup viewing opportunity,” said Interpretive Center Director Krista Harrington. “We will do our best to accommodate everyone, but the safety of our guests, our staff and the wolves is paramount, and opportunities may be weather dependent.”
A one-hour behind the scenes tour is only available for Wolf Center members.
Everyone who visits the Wolf Center this year must purchase advance tickets. To get tickets, click the Book Now button on the lower right-hand side of the page at wolf.org. Tickets are free for Wolf Center members, but they are also required to book tickets in advance so that they can ensure everyone’s safety, Harrington said.
“Obviously, we’ll be sharing more photos of Rieka as she matures and, later this year, joins our pack,” she said.

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