Wolf - Kaskapahtew - J_optThe Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness, located at the southwest corner of the zoo, is a two-acre naturalistic habitat that features grassy hills and meadows, native Michigan trees, a flowing stream and pond, dens and elevated rock outcroppings from which wolves can survey their surroundings and zoo visitors.

The Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness is the new home to two gray wolves, seven-year-old female Waziyata, whose name means “north” in Lakota, and five-year-old male Kaskapahtew, Lakota for “smoke.” The Canadian-born wolves arrived from the Minnesota Zoo earlier this year.

Detroit Zoo visitors are able to see the wolves from many vantage points around the $1.4 million habitat, including from the historic Log Cabin, which features an observation area with expansive glass viewing windows that allow people to get very close to the wolves.

“Our goal is to provide the wolves with a wonderful home and also to educate our guests about these apex predators and their importance to Michigan’s ecology,” said Ron Kagan, DZS executive director and CEO. “We’re so grateful to the Cotton family for helping to make the Wolf Wilderness possible.”

To celebrate the opening of the Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness, the zoo invited persons whose name includes “wolf” or a version thereof to enjoy complimentary admission. Anyone who produced valid photo ID verifying that their first, middle or last name is Wolf — or Wolfe, Wolfson, Wolford, Wulff, Wulfmeier and similar — was eligible for free entry.

In addition to the Cotton’s lead gift toward the development of the wolf habitat, support was also provided by Service Systems Associates, the Detroit Zoo’s operator of concessions and retail, as well as proceeds from last year’s Sunset at the Zoo “Howling at the Moon” event.

The Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness makes its debut just in time for this year’s Sunset at the Zoo “Summer Chill” fundraiser on Friday, June 12, celebrating the future Polk Penguin Conservation Center. The event features a strolling supper, music, dancing, auctions and access to many of the zoo’s award-winning animal habitats at twilight.

For information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.detroitzoo.org/sunset.

The Detroit Zoological Society, a nonprofit organization that operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo, is recognized as a leader in conservation, animal welfare and sustainability, and providing sanctuary for animals in need of rescue.

With an annual regional economic impact of more than $100 million, the Detroit Zoo is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.3 million visitors annually. Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to more than 2,500 animals.

The Belle Isle Nature Zoo sits on a five-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park and provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community.

For hours, prices, directions and other information, call 248.541.5717 or visit http://www.detroitzoo.org.

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