BILLINGS — ZooMontana’s gray wolf pack has now officially doubled in size.
At this time last year, Kali and Kahlua were the only two wolves in residence in Billings. Then in the spring, they were joined by Simpson.
Now, meet Onyx.
Onyx is a six-month-old gray wolf from Rapid City, South Dakota. He was raised in captivity with several other wolves and one of the big reasons he was brought to the zoo, was to be an age-appropriate buddy for Simpson.
“Introductions are going well between those two,” says zookeeper Amanda Atkinson. “Simpson's still a little nervous about it, but he's getting braver. Onyx has already shown a playful behavior. I think by next week we'll see them sleeping in the straw together.”
While a bromance is slowly forming, it is interesting to point out that Onyx is older by a month, but Simpson is much larger and has about 20 pounds on his new pal. What Onyx lacks in size, however, zookeepers are hoping he will make up for in maturity. Maturity that Simpson seems to be needing.
“Onyx had six siblings,” says Atkinson. “So he is totally used to being around other wolves and he totally understands the behaviors and cues. Unlike Simpson, who’s a month younger... He’s still learning the wolf language.”
Over the next few months, both Onyx and Simpson will be bonding and slowly introduced to Kali and Kahlua in the main habitat. With a little luck, this pack will become one big happy family very soon.
For more information, log onto www.zoomontana.org.