Super exciting news: Boise, our rescued wolf pup, has made it into Wolf Valley. This might not seem like a big achievement on the surface, but trust me, it’s HUGE. Take a moment to consider Boise’s history. He was born in the wild all the way across the country and was lost from his pack. When he arrived here at Busch Gardens he was very nervous around people, noises and pretty much anything new. However, over the course of the past month, Boise has blossomed. He is approaching trainers and even learning new things. He’s slowly but surely gone from habitat to habitat in the back areas. Each time we ask Boise to try something new it takes at least a week for him to be able to do it, just because that’s how much time it takes him to acclimate to change. So, going all the way from the back habitats into Wolf Valley was a major accomplishment. He was so adorable. I was lucky to be here on the day he finally made it.
Kaya, Beo and Mia were all running back and forth between the habitats and Wolf Valley. Boise wanted to play with them so badly. He kept taking a step out of the habitat, re-thinking it and stepping back in. Finally, he bit the bullet and went for it. He went barreling about halfway down, realized he was in a new place and stopped. Once Kaya and Beo came running to his rescue, he collected himself and went all the way to the valley gate. He stood there contemplating the gate for about five minutes then slowly stepped inside. Once he was inside of the gate, he saw Kaya, Beo and Mia playing at the bottom of the hill. He wanted to join them so badly. Finally, while the other trainers and I stood there holding our collective breath, he did it. He ran down the hill to play with his pack. We wanted to shout and jump up and down, but that probably would have ruined the moment for Boise.
It is such a beautiful thing to see this wild animal so full of joy just to be playing with his own kind. Watching him learn that the world is a new and exciting adventure is one of the reasons that coming to work and doing what I do is so rewarding.
Watch this video to learn more about our pups from the trainers here at the park and see Boise playing with his packmates out in Wolf Valley.