Aidan and Denali were born on April 27, 2008 and joined the Exhibit Pack on August 4th, 2008. The 2008 pup introduction was very unique for the Center as it was the first time that our Exhibit pack contained three subspecies of the gray wolf and three age groups-the arctic wolves (Canis lupus arctos) born in 2000, Great Plains wolves (Canis lupus nubilus) born in 2004 and Rocky Mountain wolves (Canis lupus occidentalis) born in 2008. Denali was fairly immune to dominance rank order. He was more prone to social engagement and avoided interactions that related to dominance. He was encouraged to be more dominant by the 2nd ranking male, Grizzer, who allowed Denali to readily take food or possessions without any sign of threat display. By the time Denali turned two years of age, he was always very social, but also very testing. Growing up without limits to his behavior resulted in his continual testing. Denali is the reason Grizzer transitioned into retirement. After Maya's death, there was no leadership in the pack, and Grizzer didn't show signs of rising to a leadership role. Since the introduction of the 2012 pups, Luna and Boltz, Denali continues to be food possessive and socially engaging with the pups, but doesn't show them much dominance. This is certainly a repeat behavior from how Grizzer treated Denali in 2008.
Each wolf in the Exhibit and Retired Pack will have weekly updates posted to reveal their individual personalities and the dynamics of their respective packs, please check the individual logs for details.
For more information on our ambassador wolves, watch extended wolf videos on the International Wolf Center's YouTube Channel or enjoy a close-up of wolf behavior on our Wolf Watch Cams.