Happy Lobo Week: Meet the Pack!

Posted March 25, 2024 by Tara Lay

It’s Lobo Week, an annual celebration commemorating the return of critically endangered Mexican gray wolves, or “lobos,” to the wild in 1998. Once exterminated from the wild, Mexican wolves are being reintroduced into their former range in Arizona and New Mexico.

Also known as “el lobo”, the Mexican wolf is the smallest subspecies of the North American gray wolf. The Mexican wolf is an endangered-species rarity in that its major recovery needs are not habitat management and restoration. Rather, social tolerance is the primary recovery challenge.

Four Mexican wolves call the Cincinnati Zoo home! Bruce, Shadow and Waya are three brothers who were born at the Endangered Wolf Center, and their birthday is April 9th, 2018. Elena is a female who came to us also from Endangered Wolf Center and her birthday is May 14, 2021.


The most laid-back, relaxed and chill wolf of the pack. Not much bothers him. He has a droopy lip and has the reddest coat color of the three brothers. He enjoys all the snacks, and really likes foraging for hard-boiled eggs.


His name fits him; he tends to hang in the background most of the time. He has really white eyebrows and is the biggest of the brothers! Even though he is the biggest, he tends to let the others eat first. Shadow spends most of his time hanging out on the cave.


He is the wild one! Waya is the smallest but also the one with the most spice! He is very observant and definitely our bravest boy. You can catch him scent rolling in some of his favorite enrichment – river otter bedding!


Elena is our sweet princess! She is sweet, curious and oh so spunky! Like Bruce, she loves her eggs, but we also catch her eating snowballs and playing in the bushes a lot! She is by far the smallest of the pack and the youngest.

The Cincinnati Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). AZA member organizations are working together and alongside their partners to help save animals from extinction. SAFE Mexican Wolf, led by Cincinnati Zoo’s Kim Scott, is a bi-national recovery program that will help support and find new opportunities to work with the community in the recovery areas of both Mexico and the United States. By working with USFWS, AZA-accredited institutions and other essential partners, SAFE Mexican Wolf will be able to support conservation efforts for this species.

Cincinnati Zoo Tales Podcast

Listen as Cincinnati Zoo keeper Tara talks about her work with the Texas Lobo Coalition & wolf recovery programs.