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Wolf pup goes to Virginia

Published On: Jun 20 2012 11:43:29 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 20 2012 01:12:11 PM CDT

Idaho Fish and Game officials said this animal may be a wolf or wolf-hybrid. According to the results of a DNA test, the animal was identified as a wolf.

BOISE, Idaho -

The wolf pup found by out-of-town campers outside Ketchum in May is headed to Virginia.

Idaho Fish and Game officials last week selected Busch Gardens in Williamsburg from a list of potential facilities willing to accept the male wolf pup long-term.

The list was compiled by officials at Zoo Boise, which has been taking care of the pup.

Fish and Game officials said Wednesday that they chose Busch Gardens for the following reasons:

1. It has successfully maintained wolves for more than 12 years, and has nine.
2. It recently received two pups, which are now 6 weeks old.
3. Is part of the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens education and conservation conglomerate, which includes several Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facilities.
4. It is a sponsor of the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, a contributor of more than $10 million to wildlife conservation worldwide. It is active in the Mexican Wolf Recovery Project. A list of its sponsors includes Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and several other reputable conservation organizations.
5. It is where the Smithsonian-affiliated National Zoo sends its staff to receive captive wolf training.

When the wolf was found, the campers thought it was a domestic puppy, but DNA tests proved that the animal was indeed a wild wolf. 

Idaho Fish and Game looked for a wolf pack near where the pup was found, hoping to return the animal. But officials could find no fresh sign of a pack in the area.