In addition to the cubs we posted about last week, we also received a few other new residents! Please welcome Wiki (pronounced wick-kai), a jaguar, as well as Romulus and Remus, two 6 month-old tundra wolf siblings. Their previous institutions no longer had space for them, but IEAS will now be their forever home.
Romulus and Remus are IEAS’s first wolves ever! They are named after the legendary twin brothers who founded Rome after being raised in the wild by a wolf. Tundra wolves are a subspecies of gray wolf and are native to Eurasian tundra and forests. Though gray wolves are considered a species of least concern, they are unfortunately subject to a number of human-caused threats that have extirpated them from much of their range. Contrary to popular belief, wolves are very timid animals. Romulus and Remus have definitely shown this more than our new tigers; however, they are gaining trust in IEAS staff through our Emotional Enrichment program and are settling in nicely in their new habitat.
Wiki is currently the sanctuary’s only jaguar resident. Because jaguars were prominently featured in Aztec mythology, Wiki was named after a type of legendary Aztec warrior. Jaguars such as Wiki are the only true big cats (genus Panthera) native to the Americas, defined by their ability to roar (mountain lions can’t!). Their native range extends from the southwestern U.S. to South America, throughout which they are considered a keystone species. Though they have been extirpated throughout most of their range in the U.S., one wild jaguar was photographed earlier this year in Arizona. They are a near-threatened species that are unfortunately on the decline due to human activity such as poaching, deforestation, and conflict with farmers. Though Wiki is still adjusting to his new home, we hope that with the help of our Emotional Enrichment program that he will continue to gain trust in his human care takers!
We are very excited to share our new residents with you! Guided tours are available every day at 11 if you would like to come by and see them. Or, if you’re interested in helping out with the care of Wiki, Romulus, and Remus, please consider donating here. Keep an eye out for more updates on how our new guys are doing!