HEMMINGFORD — The birth of four Arctic wolf pups is part of Parc Safari's mission to aid in preservation of endangered and otherwise threatened species.
Staff have nursed the four pups back to health after they were abandoned by their mother shortly after birth in May. The goal is to reintroduce them to the park's Arctic wolf pack.
President Jean-Pierre Ranger said that since the original wolves were introduced at the park, they have taken part in breeding and research at prestigious facilities such as the San Diego Zoo. The wolves have also gone overseas to facilities in England, Austria, Germany, Holland and the Czech Republic.
"It is a privilege for us to have that species here and present them to the public. It also helps other institutions present them to the public," Ranger said,
NEW ANIMALS ARRIVE
Head Zoologist Francis Lavigne said they have once again welcomed a number of new animals to the park over the winter. They have some of the largest herds of eland, addax and oryx anywhere in Canada, the latter extremely important as they are extinct in the wild.
"We're lucky enough to have good success breeding them here," Lavigne said.
They have also welcomed two baby zebras, which are somewhat rare at Parc Safari. He said it appears a few more may be on the way.
Their male giraffe is off for a breeding attempt at another facility. Two females, age 24 and 4, are still at the park for breathtaking views of the graceful, tall herbivores.
Ranger said they have invested about $18 million in the park's infrastructure since 2002. A lot of that took place behind the scenes to make winter quarters for the animals more comfortable.
He said that in addition to helping meet international zoological standards, it was simply the right thing to do.