From lone wolf to leader of the pack

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 5:49 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Zoo New York in Watertown’s Thompson Park was host to a unique family reunion. It wasn’t between people, but wolves.

After her parents, Kaja and Keenai, passed away due to old age in 2020 and 2021 respectively, Luna, Thompson Park’s resident grey wolf, was left alone.

“A lone wolf is not really a wolf. They live in packs they need that social atmosphere,” said Larry Sorell, executive director of Zoo New York.

But she’s not alone anymore. Last month, two wolves were moved to Watertown from a zoo in Michigan in order to keep Luna company. And they took to her quickly

“I don’t know them that much but they seem to like Luna,” said zoo visitor Sawyer Bennett.

There may be a reason for that. Although they’d been in Michigan for nearly a decade, this wasn’t their first visit to Thompson Park. In fact, they were born at the zoo in the same litter as Luna nine years ago.

“It’s nice. They look like they’re at home and fitting in well,” said zoo visitor Lillian Metott.

Now that her brothers are back and she’s no longer alone, we’re told Luna seems a lot happier and her behavior is a dead giveaway.

“She certainly seems calmer. She’s more interested in things. As a lone wolf, she was a little nervous because that’s just not the way they live,” said Sorell.

Her brothers have done more than just accept Luna. Since she was there first, they’ve come to view her as their leader.

“Having them together and they’re howling together and playing together and doing all of those wonderful things, it’s great to see all of that social interaction going on,” said Sorell.

From a lone wolf to the leader of the pack. So far, 2023 is shaping up to be a good year for Luna.