PRESCOT has got the makings of a wolf pack with the arrival of juvenile Iberian she-wolves Maria and Morena at Knowsley Safari Park.
They are the first wolves at Knowsley since the Park opened in 1971.
The 18 months old sisters have come from Gaia Zoo in Holland and are set to be a big attraction during this month’s half term school break as they settle in their own piece of the park, next to Knowsley’s popular tiger enclosure.
Indigenous to northern Portugal and north west Spain, Iberian wolves were almost wiped out by hunters in the 1950s but the wild population has recovered.
Visitors to the Park will see seasonal colour changes of Maria and Marina’s thick fur. Currently a dark reddish brown for the cold winter months, their fur will change to grey with white facial markings and dark colours on their tails and legs as Spring approaches.
In the wild they would feast on deer and wild boar, a diet that Knowsley Safari Park keepers will replicate to enable the wolves to grow to 30kg in weight and to a height of 1.5 meters by the time that they reach maturity at five years old.
Eveline de Wolf, head of animal management at the Safari Park said: “Iberian wolves are known for their highly adaptable nature and we’re confident that Maria and Morena will settle in well amongst the other animals here at Knowsley Safari.
“We have exciting long term plans for our new arrivals, with the aim to bring a male into the park to foster a small breeding pack, as found in the wild.”