News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
July 12, 2016
Note: Photos of the Mexican gray wolf pups at Brookfield Zoo may be downloaded below.
2016 Wolf Puppies (l to r) Azul, Ela and Rio
Wolf Pups 01
Female wolf puppy Ela
Male wolf puppies Azul (l) and Rio (r)

Brookfield Zoo Announces Names of Mexican Gray Wolf Puppies

            Brookfield, Ill.—More than 20,000 votes were cast over the past two weeks to determine the names of Brookfield Zoo’s three 11-week-old Mexican gray wolf puppies.

The names that received the most votes for the two male pups are Rio, meaning river in Spanish, and Azul, meaning blue in Spanish and also signifies the Blue Range Mountains in Arizona, which is a release site for the Mexican gray wolf recovery program. The female puppy’s name is Ela, which means Earth in Apache.

The puppies are nearly fully weaned and have been eating solid food, mostly native prey such as deer and elk meat. They continue to grow by leaps and bounds and are very playful as they continue to explore their habitat at the zoo’s Regenstein Wolf Woods.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, plays an important role in the Mexican gray wolf recovery program, demonstrating its commitment to helping the population in the wild and raising awareness about an iconic North American species, which was once on the brink of extinction. Two other puppies born in this litter, named Blaze and Brooke, were placed with the wild Elk Horn Pack in Arizona as part of the recovery program’s cross-fostering efforts earlier this spring

Those interested in helping to provide the best quality diet and expert care for the Mexican gray wolf family can participate in the Society’s Share the Care program. For a $35 donation, you or a recipient will receive a 5” x 7” color photo of the three puppies at Brookfield Zoo, a personalized adoption certificate, a species fact sheet, a special Share the Care decal, and an invitation to the exclusive Share the Care Evening (ticket purchase required). To adopt the wolf family and for further information, visit
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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Director of Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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