Illiamna (ill-ee-ahm-na) is a white male Arctic wolf, named after a volcanic mountain and river in Alaska. He was born in the spring of 2009 at a Wildlife Safari Park called Bear Country in South Dakota. He did not come alone; with him were seven other puppies, three litter mates and four Gray wolf pups that grew up in the same enclosure at the park.
Our lead Ambassador Magpie and her partner Abe eagerly took the pups in, and just as they started to settle into life at the refuge, a virus hit and we lost two of the Gray wolves and one of the Arctic pups. Illiamna slowed down a bit, but as one of the bigger pups he shrugged off the virus and has grown to be one of the largest wolves living at the refuge. At eight months old he already weighed over 120 pounds.
For over a year, he was raised by Abe and Magpie as part of the Ambassador pack. He cautiously approached several visitors over the summer; of all the pups he was the bravest and was naturally curious of people.
Illiamna was eventually paired with Raven, an older Gray wolf who was also an ex-ambassador. The two got along well, and lived together happily until Raven passed away in October 2017. We hope to soon find another suitable partner for Illiamna, but he is doing very well for now.