On Friday Lobos of the Southwest announced the winners of their second annual wolf pup naming contest. Of the nine pups named, six were born to the Bluestem Pack,
Back in 1997 the Bluestem Pack got its start when a female wolf pup was born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. F521 was the pup’s official studbook number, but zookeepers called her Estrella, which means Star in Spanish.
She was part of the very first litter born in the zoo’s new habitat, Wolf Woods, built as part of the Mexican gray wolf recovery program.
In 2002 Estrella, her mate, and seven of their pups from two different litters were released into the White Mountains of Arizona. Twelve years later the pack still runs, hunts, and in most years has a new litter of pups. Estrella was killed illegally in 2010, but by then one of her daughters, F1042, had become the alpha female of the pack. F1042’s six pups born in 2013 are Estrella’s grandpups.
The kids who submitted names for the wolf pups made drawings, wrote essays, and told the judges why their names should be selected. To see all of the results check out this story.
The Bluestem pups have all been captured, outfitted with radio collars, and assigned studbook numbers. And now they have new names:
Shadow (m1330) – named by Renea S. in the 2nd grade.
Niku (m1331) – means victory in Finnish, named by Hayley K. in the 5th grade.
Unique (f1332) – named by Danielle H. in the 2nd grade.
Verde (f1333) – means green in Spanish, named by Eleanor W. in the 1st grade (see above picture).
Esperanza (f1339) – means hope in Spanish, named by Maddie D., Emily P., and Annabelle B. all in the 6th grade.
Zia (f1340) – named by Lillian R.in the 6th grade (see her essay to the right),
As of March 10th, the telemetry flight location report indicated that all of the Bluestem pups were still traveling together with their parents. Soon they will be yearlings and may start to explore on their own or with wolves from other packs.
I’ll be keeping an eye on them and crossing my fingers that there is a new litter of pups later this spring.