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Malik, 2000 - 2014

Malik, 2000 – 2014

Malik, an Arctic subspecies of the gray wolf, born on May 8, 2000, was euthanized after a short physical decline identified by staff.  A complete necropsy was done and his decline appears to have been caused from a ruptured mass in his abdomen and a mass on his kidney.  Malik was a member of the Exhibit Pack from 2000 – 2009, when he was placed in retirement in the fall of 2009 due to some younger wolf dominance.  Malik lived alone until 2010 when his litter-mate Shadow joined him in retirement.   He was euthanized less than 2 months prior to his 14th birthday.  He lived a full life and helped educate the world about wolves.

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.


Recent Logs for Malik:

Gone, But Not Forgotten... Farewell Malik

Malik – Gone But Not Forgotten

March 22nd, 2014

After this log, Malik will transition to the Gone but Not Forgotten Pack.  What can I say about the wolf that has taught the wolf care staff so much about being an opportunistic pack member.  Malik never rose to the top of a pack, but benefited greatly by having a brother as a dominant pack member.  Who can forget his courage to display some dominance when Shadow was standing over Grizzer, but as soon as Shadow moved away, down would come the ears and the tail and he would gracefully jump to the other side of the pond.  He had a threat display that was like no other; words couldn’t describe the sound he made, nor will wolf care staff forget the dynamics of the pack when Shadow and Maya ruled the Exhibit.  Malik’s more delicate face and graceful movements made him special and his ability to guard and protect food, even from his dominant packmates, taught us that wolves have social rules.  We have lost a great pack member who contributed a wealth of knowledge, endured a lot of transitions and made a lot of smiles, especially as he watched staff members and looked for the perfect opportunity to steal a hat.  As Malik made his final journey to the University of Minnesota Diagnostics lab for a necropsy, he traveled with my hat (the one he stole so many times during wolf care)  and had special instructions to be cremated with the hat.   We will miss Malik dearly and are grateful to all the people who have sent words of support.

Photo by Wolf Care Staff. Malik is curious, but not his usual active self.

Malik – Timid Or Tired

March 11th, 2014

As excited as Shadow had been lately, Malik has taken on the opposite behavior.  He’s become temperamental when eating, he has been staying toward the back of the enclosure and he’s showing less tolerance of activity in the wolf yard, especially the equipment used to move snow.  Malik, as a lower ranking wolf, has always been a more nervous individual, but we always have to be mindful when  a nearly 14 year old wolf shows these signs as it might be a symptom of another ailment.  So far there are no other specific issues, but this could also be behavioral.  Shadow is the more dominant of the pair and when Shadow is active, he may be asserting more status over Malik, resulting in a more timid response.  This job requires a combination of physical and behavioral observations to assess overall animal health.

How can we tell the arctics apart?

Malik – Look For The Cowlick

February 24th, 2014

People always ask how we can tell the difference between Malik and Shadow. Here are some definitive clues to help in the ID of these two brothers.  Side by side, Malik has a much slimmer face, a more almond shaped eyes and a raise of hair called a cowlick between his nose.  If you are watching the webcam, the wolf stealing the hat is another clue.  More importantly, the location of the wolves on the webcam is also a hint.  If one wolf is alone inside the den and the other is on top, it is usually Malik inside the den.  Shadow has been more dominant since they were pups and is most often found at the higher vantage point.

Malik – If It Happened Once…

February 14th, 2014

I did receive an email about Malik taking my hat during a wolf check.  My hat is wool and there is no harm to Malik in taking it and the only harm I face is a sub-zero day.  Malik has always been an opportunistic wolf, even during the days of his life as the omega of the Exhibit Pack,  It’s great to see he’s still got what it takes at the age of 14.  I also know that if it happened once, it will happen again, so spring better come soon or I won’t have a hat left.

Two deer legs fed on a recent cold evening

Malik – To Guard And Possess

January 27th, 2014

Malik has benefited from the frequent feedings associated with colder weather.  Even though we have a supply of deer, we still purchase chicken and beef for the older animals to increase their calorie intake on these frigid nights which have become much more frequent this winter.  Malik is a wolf that is quick to possess and guard food, so this recent cold weather has given him a lot of opportunities for behavioral displays.