Wild Times Archive

Wolf Arrival

Edmonton Valley Zoo says “Bonjour” to a pair of Arctic Wolves

Just in time to celebrate Family Day, the Edmonton Valley Zoo family has grown by two!

Earlier this week, the zoo welcomed a pair of female Arctic wolves from Parc Zoologique CERZA in Hermival-les-Vaux, France. The pair, who have yet to be named, came to Edmonton after zoo officials spent more than a year searching for suitable companions for its current Arctic Wolf, Tundra, whose partner Shilah died in 2022. The new wolves will spend the next 30 days in quarantine before being slowly introduced to Tundra in his current habitat. 

“We were very fortunate to find this pair of wolves and we are thrilled to finally have them here. Finding a companion for Tundra has been a priority for us since the devastating loss of Shilah,” said Laura Castor, Animal Care Team Lead at the zoo. “Arctic wolves are pack animals so it was important to find the right fit for Tundra. It has taken a lot of time and effort to get to this point and we couldn’t be happier with this result.”

The female wolves are two and three years old and are sisters from different litters. They arrived on February 14 and are adjusting well to their new surroundings, but are not currently available for public viewing. Although they were vet-checked prior to being sent to Edmonton, all animals being transferred are put into mandatory quarantine upon arrival, which is a standard industry practice. 


The wolves will be introduced to Tundra in stages to make sure they are safe and comfortable with one another. Once they are allowed to be in the same space, which is expected to take a few months, they will be closely monitored by the animal care team. Later this year, all three wolves will be relocated within the zoo to the brand new Arctic Wolf habitat, which is still under construction. The new habitat will feature a combined total of 5000 m² of naturalized habitat space and is thanks to a partnership between the Valley Zoo Development Society and Malliner Charitable Foundation.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide Tundra and his new pack with a beautiful, enriching, and stimulating new environment,” said Tammy Wiebe, executive director of the Valley Zoo Development Society. “Thanks to the Malliner Charitable Foundation and our other generous donors, we are able to provide a new habitat for the wolves that aligns with their natural instincts and encourages natural behaviours. We also aim to promote awareness of the Arctic Wolves’ conservation needs.”

The Arctic wolf is a subspecies of the grey wolf and lives in the Arctic regions of North America and Greenland. Although the Arctic wolf rarely faces human threat, its greatest concern is climate change. The Arctic wolves at the Edmonton Valley Zoo are an ambassador species to help raise awareness of the threats facing their wild populations. Having ambassador species at the zoo allows people to build a personal connection with the animals, which will help to inspire them to work towards protecting animals and the environments that they live in.

The new Arctic Wolf exhibit is expected to open in summer 2024. For more information about the new habitat or to find out how to donate, please visit the Valley Zoo Development Society by following the link below.