BILLINGS — In June, ZooMontana took in a seven-week-old Grey Wolf pup abandoned by his pack near Condon. Simpson, as he became known, has had a long summer in his new surroundings, and it seems he's found a new home and a new pack.
Krystal Whetham, a relief keeper at the zoo, told MTN News that this little guy is now not so little. “Simpson, we’ve had him for a few months now and he is just really blossoming,” she says. “He is starting to gain the weight. He is up about 40 pounds since we originally got him, which is incredible how fast he has grown. He still has big feet. He’s got a lot of room to grow."
Whetham says that Simpson not only gets three hearty meals a day, but works at enrichment games to help his developing mind. He’s even started to meet the other wolves, Kali and Kahlua, at the zoo.
“We have started introductions with Simpson and our other two wolves. We have a male and a female. They both have been here for nine to 10 years. We started with a barrier. Lots of licking, smelling and vocals. And then we recently did a free contact with our male wolf, bringing him into the back holding where Simpson is, and that all went really well.”
Simpson is full of puppy energy. After all, he’s only about five months old, so he is still learning his manners. “Kahlua, every once and a while, will give him a little growl. Nothing physical, just something to let him know that he’s the boss,” Whetham said.
Once Simpson is large enough, he will join Kalia and Kahlua in their habitat and he will finally have a pack to call his own.
“My hope for Simpson is that he really just lives a happy life here,” says Whetham. “He’s going to have a great life. He is going to be fed well, have a ton of things to do. We spend a lot of time bonding with him, to keep our hands on him for vet work and he is going to flourish.”