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Two of five wolf pups born at Brookfield Zoo released into wild

Chicago Zoological Society veterinary and animal care staff perform neonatal examinations on Blaze and Brooke, two 5-day-old Mexican gray wolf pups, prior to their departure from Brookfield Zoo. | Chicago Zoological Society

Two of five Mexican gray wolf pups born two weeks ago at the Brookfield Zoo have been shipped to Arizona to be placed with a wild wolf pack.

The pups, Blaze and Brooke, were among five pups born at the west suburban zoo on April 25, according to the Chicago Zoological Society.

Blaze (left) and Brooke, a 5-day-old Mexican gray wolf puppies born at Brookfield Zoo, sleep while in transit to Arizona to be placed with the Elk Horn Pack of wild wolves. | Chicago Zoological Society
Blaze (left) and Brooke, a 5-day-old Mexican gray wolf puppies born at Brookfield Zoo, sleep while in transit to Arizona to be placed with the Elk Horn Pack of wild wolves. | Chicago Zoological Society

Following a neonatal exam five days later, Blaze and Brooke were flown to Arizona to be placed in the Elk Horn Pack of wild wolves. The pack will foster them with its own newborn litter as part of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program, which works fight the demise of the rarest subspecies of gray wolves in North America.

“We are extremely proud to be able to contribute to this important conservation effort for the Mexican gray wolf population,” CZS senior vice president of animal programs Bill Zeigler said in a statement.

The other three pups remain with their pareants, 4-year-old mother Zana, and 6-year-old father Flint, at the zoo’s Regenstein Wolf Woods Habitat. The pack includes four yearlings born in 2015, who will help their parents rear the new additions by regurgitating food for them and playing with them.

Zoo staff anticipates the pups will begin to emerge from their den and be visible to guests in a few weeks.

Blaze, a Mexican gray wolf puppy born at Brookfield Zoo, prior to his trip across country to be placed with the Arizona-based Elk Horn Pack of wild wolves as part of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program. | Chicago Zoological Society
Blaze, a Mexican gray wolf puppy born at Brookfield Zoo, prior to his trip across country to be placed with the Arizona-based Elk Horn Pack of wild wolves as part of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program. | Chicago Zoological Society