St Patrick’s Day Kiss?
Wild Arctic gray wolves (Canis lupus arctos) live primarily in the Arctic, the region located above 67° north latitude. The land is covered with snow and ice for most of the year, except for a brief period during the summer. Arctic wolves have adapted well to this icy environment. Atka, like his wild counterparts, had white fur, which allowed him to blend into snowy surroundings. To help reduce heat loss, his ears were rounded, he had a shorter muzzle and shorter legs than other gray wolf subspecies. He also had hair between the pads of his feet and long, thick fur to keep him warm in temperatures that were as low as minus 70° Fahrenheit.
Atka lived to be the oldest ambassador wolf at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), passing away peacefully in September 2018 at 16 years old. He arrived at the WCC from Minnesota when he was just 8 days old.
The confident and charismatic ambassador won the hearts and opened the minds of hundreds of thousands of people throughout his storied career.
Atka wasn’t just a luminary in the world of conservation, he was a superstar! Thank you, Atka, for allowing the world to form lasting connections with not only you but your wild kin as well. We will always remember and honor your wild legacy.