Update on the Wolves

Many people came to know and love the Mexican wolves during their four and a half years spent at our Zoo. I get asked on a daily basis where they are and/or how they are doing. The short answer is they are doing great!

The three brothers left our Zoo in November for the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, New York. They lived together for almost a month before Durango and Chico headed out west in December. They moved to The Living Desert in Palm Desert, California, and are adjusting to life there very well.


Diego, aka “the dark one” and M1059, stayed on at the WCC in NY state to hopefully breed with one of their females, F1143. He is 8 years old and she is 7 years old, and they share the same birthday, April 22nd. Neither one of them had ever lived with any other wolves before, other than their own families.

Diego’s Mate

About a week after Diego’s brothers left him, they started the introductions to his new potential mate. Their enclosure is a full acre of wooded land with a fence through the middle dividing it in half. To begin the intros, he was on one half and she was on the other, so they could get to know each other slowly. Everything progressed in the right direction so, after a few weeks, they opened up the gates between them so they could have full access to each other. So far, so good!

Diego and his mate

Diego’s younger half-brother and his new mate live in another enclosure there, and they are recommended for breeding this year as well. All of their genes are very valuable among the Mexican Grey Wolf population, so hopefully there will be two litters of pups there this spring. All of them would be considered as potential release candidates in the future.

In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed, and if you want any further information, visit nywolf.org

–Heidi Beifus, Zoo Keeper

Photos courtesy of Wolf Conservation Center

How old are the baboons?

We have a troop of 12 baboons that have resided here at Seneca Park Zoo since 2008.  I have helped take care of these baboons for more than 5 years and as many of you know, the years tend to blur together after a while. So, when a visitor recently asked me how old some of our baboons were, I realized I didn’t remember their exact ages anymore! Have you ever wondered how old the baboons were?

Photo by Marissa Smithler
Photo by Marissa Smithler

Luckily, as part of our jobs, we keep medical records and protocols on all of our animals here at the Zoo, so finding the information I was looking for was pretty easy! There are 7 female baboons in our troop. Pimiento is the oldest at 22 years of age. She is easily identified because she has a very stocky build and always is sticking her tongue out!

Photo by Wendy Recchia
Photo by Wendy Recchia

Is 22 years old for a baboon? Pimiento would be considered just over middle aged, as a baboon’s life expectancy is mid 20s. The next oldest is Ursala at age 18 and then Pearl at 16. Our large alpha male of the troop, Mansino, is now 11 years old. He became the alpha male very early on due to lack of competition, at about 5 or 6 years of age. In the wild, males between the ages of 6 and 8 would begin to challenge each other for the alpha position and the rights to the females.

The other half of the troop are of similar ages. There are three females and two males that are all 8 years old. Three of these 8 year olds are the offspring of the three elder females mentioned earlier.

Lastly, some of you may remember three babies being born in 2011. Olivella, Samson and Pico de Limon are now 4 and a half. They are the offspring of the three 8 year old females and the alpha male, Mansino.

Photo by Joe Spandrusyszyn
Photo by Joe Spandrusyszyn

Watching the baboons grow up has been very rewarding to me. Their personalities are all unique and continue to develop every day. Their social structure is constantly affected and ever-changing as every single baboon ages.  It is amazing how quickly the time has gone, watching the babies turn into juveniles and juveniles into adults with babies of their own.  I’m sure everyone can relate to that!


–Jenna Bovee, Zoo Keeper