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GrizzerGrizzer, a Great Plains subspecies of the gray wolf, was born on May 5, 2004. He is a littermate to Maya and has matured into a strong and big (120+ lb)… adult male. He was removed from the Exhibit Pack in March 2011 after the tragic loss of his littermate, Maya. It was determined that Grizzer had been losing confidence in his status and without the dominance of his littermate, he couldn’t compete with the younger packmates. Grizzer is retired. During the summer of 2011, an additional habitat was created to allow Grizzer more space and to interact with the other wolves through the fences. 

Grizzer is included in the weekly wolf logs which includes a photo, notes on behavior or physical health. The Center also posts a weekly YouTube video that highlights the activity of each wolf during the week. 

For more information on our ambassador wolves, watch extended wolf videos on the International Wolf Center’s YouTube Channel or enjoy a close-up of wolf behavior on our Wolf Watch Cams.

If you are interested in sponsoring Grizzer, please click here.



Recent Logs for Grizzer:

Grizzer going strong

Grizzer – Going Strong

March 19th, 2019

Grizzer is fast approaching his 15th birthday and despite some extreme cold from a few “Polar Vortexes” this winter, he has weathered another winter.  We still have some concerns about his vision in his right eye, you may notice when he rests in the sun, that he has lost some nerve and muscle function on that limits his ability to close his eye.  His nictitating membrane does cover his eye, but not at the frequency of upper eyelid blinking.  This issue occurred during the winter of 2010/2011 while there was some rank order issues after Shadow’s retirement and Denali and Grizzer had some conflict.  This is one of the reasons we would like to keep Denali healthy and active in retirement, as there is some residual conflict between these two and at 15, Grizzer doesn’t need the disruption to his routine. The other notable issue Grizzer had in the past was some right knee issues after a slip on the ice. But this winter, with the addition of Turmeric supplements and a thick layer of cover hay in the transition area gates, he is moving freely  and interacting well with his packmates.  To register for Grizzer’s Birthday webinar, follow this link:

Registration page for Grizzer’s Webinar

Grizzer – Watching The Action

February 6th, 2019

As we reported in Aidan’s log and on facebook, Aidan was immobilized and taken to the Ely Vet Clinic for a surgery to remove two mass cell tumors on his leg.  Since Aidan’s retirement in July, Grizzer had re-establsihed his social bonds with Aidan and was very mindful of Aidan’s removal from the facility.  With surgery and recovery, Aidan was out of the Retired Pack for 5 hours and Grizzer was focused on the activities watching from the wolf yard viewing window we designed for the Retired Pack.   As Aidan recovery from surgery, he was allowed access from the wolf care center building to a shared fenceline.  Staff observed Grizzer whining and giving nose to nose greetings with Aidan through the fence before they were successfully reunited later in the day. 

Grizzer - East side retirement

Grizzer – Ready For Winter

January 2nd, 2019

Grizzer is entering the winter with a good winter coat, a healthy amount of body fat and a packmate that helps divert Luna’s attention and at times, overwhelming interactions.  When Aidan joined retirement, we had concerns on how it would impact Grizzer.  At 14 1/2 years of age, we didn’t want to add to his stress levels.  As we have reported before, Aidan and Grizzer resumed the bond they had as former Exhibit Pack members from 2008 – 2011.  Aidan and Grizzer feed together, sleep in the same transition area beds and on more than one occasion, Aidan has intervened when Luna starts to assert dominance over Grizzer.  Lately, we have noticed Grizzer doing some excited tail-wagging chases with Aidan as he and Luna run between the three retired enclosures.  

Grizzer – Taking A Break

November 9th, 2018

Since Aidan’s retirement, Grizzer has been getting a lot of activity.  He joins Aidan when he responds to Luna’s frequent invite chase maneuvers, which usually result in a chase through all three retirement enclosures and a climb on and leap off the three concrete densites.  There is a strong correlation between Aidan’s location and Grizzer’s location within the retirement areas.  These two males share space for the morning meds and feedings, they sleep near each other and if one goes to the back habitat, the other is sure to follow.  Grizzer continues to show his confidence around Aidan.  On November 6th, the wolf care staff noted that Aidan did a squat urination after Grizzer did an RLU (Raised Leg Urination).   This lack of overmark is an indication that Aidan is accepting of Grizzer’s mark and by default Grizzer’s status.  Aidan will do RLU’s especially if there’s food involved, but the association of marking behavior between wolves is interesting to watch.  There is something rewarding to watch a wolf near the end of his longevity have the status and enjoyment of his youth, 

Grizzer alert as ever

Grizzer – Spring In His Step

August 9th, 2018

When I began planning for Aidan’s retirement last winter, I was most concerned about how it would affect Grizzer’s life.  At 14 1/2 years of age, I didn’t want to alter his routine or make him intimidated by change. I wasn’t sure I was even going to put Aidan with Grizzer initially, but then, I saw them through at the shared fenceline as Aidan began using the Pack Holding Area.  Grizzer let out a series of social whines towards Aidan and Aidan reciprocated the greeting.  On July 28th, three days after Aidan made the move out of the Exhibit Pack, he was reuniting an old social alliance with Grizzer.  Grizzer initiated the nose-to-nose greeting with Aidan and in less than an hour was allowing staff to feed both wolves a bowl full of chicken with no competition.  The trust between Aidan and Grizzer was apparent and not only did they socially interact, it appeared that Grizzer retained a higher status over Aidan that modeled their relationship in 2011.  Grizzer has been actively displaying RLU behaviors, scraping the ground to spread his scent and taking carries a bit of a high sweep at the base of his tail as he walks throughout the enclosures.  We even witnessed Grizzer helping Aidan in a short Luna confrontation.  In the last few weeks, Grizzer has certainly perked up, with a social grin, he could pass for 12 years of age.