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Campers rescue wolf cub they thought was a puppy

Custom_sam_sheepdog_300_thumb By Martha | | Comments (16)

A small lost wolf pup was mistaken for a puppy by campersCampers in Ketchum, Idaho found what they thought was a lost puppy by the side of a road in need of help on Friday. The concerned family brought the small pup to a local veterinarian, where they learned they may have picked up a wolf pup instead!

A vet technician looked at the lost male pup and thought it might be a wolf. He contacted Defenders of Wildlife, who in turn contacted the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. A DNA test is being run to determine if the puppy is a wolf or wolf-hybrid.

The little canine is in poor health and was taken to the local zoo temporarily for care and to help find him a permanent home at wildlife reserve, if his pack cannot be located.

Fish and Game workers went to where the puppy was found to see if they could find traces of a wolf pack in the hopes of returning the puppy to his family, but they were unable to find them. Trackers on Wednesday had seen a wolf pack travelling with pups near the national forest. That suggests the pack was disturbed near the road where the cub was found when they became separated from one another.

Story Update June 1, 2012

Wolf cub found on side of road now at zoo

Defenders of Wildlife have been helping the Idaho Fish and Game try and locate the lost wolf pup's family. The group's wolf expert, Suzanne Stone, described how the pup was when he was brought in a few days ago. "He's very frightened of people, and it looks like he hasn't eaten in days. We're trying to find some goat's milk and bison meat to feed to him, but he really needs to be returned to his pack as soon as possible. Wolf pups are extremely vulnerable at this stage, and their chances of survival on their own are very low."

Group members went out searching for the lost wolf pup's family in the central Idaho wilderness on Wednesday. They were able to find tracks of what appear to be the mother and several other pups.

Defenders of Wildlife said, "The tracks indicate that the mother wolf was using the road to move her litter through Sawtooth National Forest where they were disturbed by human activity and the one pup got separated from his family." They plan to head back out to search for the den site and hopefully find the rest of the pup's family.

Zoo Boise's director says there are no plans to allow the public to view the wolf cub and Fish and Game officials say they are limiting the pup's human exposure to increase the chance that it could be reassimilated into its pack. However a video of the pup has been relased.

Defenders of Wildife found wolf tracks that may belong to a lost wolf pup's family
Suzanne Stone from Defenders of Wildlife with wolf tracks
that may be from the lost pup's family

Update June 8, 2012

Wildiife conservation officers and Defenders of Wildlife said they have been unsuccessful in locating the lost wolf pup's family after over two weeks of searching. Despite aerial and ground searches and a few signs of wolf activity, they could not find the pack.

The pup will be leaving the Boise Zoo soon for a permanent captive facility. Several well-established wolf rescues have offered a new home for the pup. 

Defenders of Wildlife wrote: "In the end, the sad saga reminds us all that wild animals, no matter how apparently helpless or irresistibly cute, are best left alone. The out-of-town campers who found the pup can't be blamed for trying to help, but the result is still one less wolf in the wild."

View more articles in: Community News

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Comments on this Article

He is such a cutie. Glad they helped him instead of leaving him to die
hello Martha, thanks so lot for information, I am so happy that the little wolf can live and is in good care-revier.
Monika the pup will got to a wildlife preserve that has a wolf rescue as they could not locate his family.
what happened to the young wolf? they found a substitute mama? It would be nice if someone tell us what positive can, many thanks and lot greetings from germany
I'm just your opinion, Lynn, when nature wanted it then would be hidden the small let die yet, but so he should be helped, it nothing happens unless it not be.
I applaud the campers for rescuing the pup. If he was in such poor health as stated, then he would not have been another wolf in the wild! The statement, "Let nature take its course" is unbelievable. So the next human I see on the side of the road should be left be? National Geographic ran a documentary that featured two lion brothers who were so emaciated, the commentary said, 'they won't live long'. Well hells bells, drop you camera and get these brothers food, water, and pay for it with the proceeds you will make in filming them AH! Unbelievable!!
O nancybragg, it's very shame for the young wolf, give is a mum sheepdog as substitute? It would be a possibility!
Sat June 9 '12 Saw this story the other day. SAD his her family has not been located... Vancouver BC Canada
Sheila Lee, you're an angel i hope she have a wolf - mother for the young puppy, I life in germany but I suffer with every essence that is lost and am looking forward to every good people of advice and help features to help him.
Yep. He's definitely a Wolf. I am afraid of his chances out there due to the decimation of the species by greedy ranchers and lame hunters that believe the wildlife belongs to them and not the wilderness but he needs to be taken back to his pack if it can be found, that would be for the best, if not, a sanctuary where he can live out his life in safety and comfort and close to his own environment. Beautiful baby <3
Oops, I meant "elk" not "elf".
I'm very conflicted on this one. On one hand I hope they find the little guy's pack. But on the other hand I think about what Idaho is doing to their wolf population. So if you return him to his pack is he one that will be shot from an airplane? Or does Idaho poison the dens. I think we are doing a terrible injustice to our wolves in parts of the United States. All so hunters can hunt their elf and deer.
He looks terrified! Hopefully the carers find the rest of the pack soon. Poor little thing, You're going to be okay :)
Poor little thing, his tail is tucked under. Please keep us posted !
The poor baby looks terrified !!
Check with Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana, they may be able to assist you in some way. Their number is 765-567-2265.
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