Two wolf pups are in need of new names.
The arctic wolf pups joined the International Wolf Center in Ely last month, and the center is hosting a contest to give the brothers permanent names. Their temporary nicknames are Axel and Grayback.
Name suggestions can be submitted at the wolf center’s website, wolf.org, until 11:59 p.m. Friday. Submitted names will be narrowed down to three options for each pup, and final voting will take place from June 28 until July 1. The winning names are expected to be announced July 11.
The pups can be seen four times a day during live programs at the wolf center and can also be viewed on the streaming pup cams at wolf.org.
“We hope that people will observe the pups firsthand at the interpretive center or through the pup cams. By watching them play and explore, people can get an idea of their personalities to come up with creative and memorable names,” Executive Director Rob Schultz said in a statement.
Arctic wolves live north of the Arctic Circle and survive in some of the most extreme conditions on Earth, according to the wolf center. The pups are expected to transition quickly from their dark fur color to pure white this summer.
The pups arrived in Ely from Canada on May 25 after being monitored on the flight by specialists and receiving the OK by U.S. Fish and Wildlife upon arrival.
“Adding arctic pups from the remote regions of Canada allows us to teach people about another subspecies of wolves — one that people would never see in the wild. Visitors will see the pups growing very quickly, nearly a pound per day,” wolf curator Lori Schmidt said in a statement.
The pups have received around-the-clock care at the wolf center for several weeks. Staff and trained volunteers have begun the intense socialization process to ensure the pup’s long-term health and safety, according to the wolf center.
The wolf center doesn’t breed wolves, instead it adopts wolf pups every four years to join its Exhibit Pack. The pups are expected to join the pack in early August. The pack includes adult wolves Grizzer, Aidan, Denali, Luna and Boltz.