A "puppy" picked up by campers in Idaho last month turned out to be a wolf. Since no wolf pack could be found to return it to, the pup is now headed for Busch Gardens in Virginia, which has experience raising wolves in captivity.
A lost wolf pup left Boise Wednesday morning on its way to a new home and family in Virginia.
Idaho Fish and Game officials selected Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., from a list of potential facilities willing to accept the wolf.
Last month, out-of-town campers picked up what they thought was a lost domestic puppy outside Ketchum and took it to a vet clinic in town. Officials thought the male puppy looked like it might be a wolf. A DNA test proved them right — it is a wild wolf, but no pack was found in the area.
Zoo Boise took care of the pup while a list of facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that would be suitable for the pup was compiled.
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Busch Gardens was chosen for several reasons, officials said. It has had wolves for more than 12 years, and recently received two 6-week-old pups. The National Zoo sends its staffers there to get captive-wolf training.
Busch Gardens also has been active in Mexican wolf recovery, and it sponsors a fund that has contributed more than $10 million worldwide to wildlife conservation.