Parks & Recreation
Meet the Timber Wolves at Wildwood Zoo
Nelson joined the zoo in June 2010. He was born April 22, 2010 at the Wildlife Science Center in Minnesota. Since he was born on Earth Day he is named after Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day. Nelson has an old injury to his right eye. He received the injury in a fight with another wolf. This eye is prone to tearing because of the injury.
Madilyne, our female wolf died in June 2013 at the age of 15. Her health had been in decline over the past year.
Nelson can be seen from both the Large Animal Drive and from within the core zoo. Nelson at 13 is also an old wolf and is not very active anymore. In the wild wolves would not make it to this ripe old age. Because they receive regular vet check-ups, daily food and a safe environment captive animals often live longer than their wild counterparts.
Timber wolves (or gray wolves) are becoming more common in Wisconsin. Once nearly extinct, wolves have made an incredible comeback and have been removed from the Endangered Species list. Wolves typically weigh between 50 and 100 pounds. They are about 2 and ½ feet tall (similar to a St. Bernard, Newfoundland, or other large breed of domestic dog). Wolves are carnivores and Wisconsin wolves have been found to eat primarily deer, beaver, snowshoe hare, mice, squirrels, muskrats, and other small mammals.