Sunset Zoo's PupDate Blog

Sunset Zoo is hand-raising a maned wolf pup and golden Labrador puppy behind the scenes. Stay up to date with the adventures of Fin and Matty on this weekly PupDate blog! 

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Sep 23

The Fin-al PupDate

Posted on September 23, 2016 at 11:19 AM by Ella Casey

By Ella Casey, Assistant Zoo Director

photos courtesy of Autumn Shoemaker of we chase the light

Well friends, like all good things, the story of Fin and Matty in the Little Apple is drawing to an end. We knew that from the start of this thing that if we did our jobs well, eventually we would be saying goodbye. Likely sooner rather than later.

Sunset Zoo's Puppy Pals

Sunset Zoo's Puppy Pals

So, like a proud/nervous/excited parent sends their kiddo off to college, Fin and Matty are graduating from Sunset Zoo. We’re sending them to go do big things and we couldn’t be happier (well, most of the time).

Sunset Zoo's Puppy Pals

Sunset Zoo's Puppy Pals

Fin, our shy but strong-spirited Maned wolf, will be headed to Front Royal, Virginia to live at Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), a fellow AZA-accredited institution and partner program of the National Zoo.

This facility is awesome; they are leading efforts to save wildlife and train future conservationists! Their work to successfully breed threatened and endangered species in their captive breeding centers saves species. It’s important that as we work to mitigate threats in the wild, we also keep a high level of genetic diversity among captive animals. Because sadly, it will likely be decades, or even centuries, before these species see a stable – or even thriving – population in the wild. So we must do all we can to ensure that captive populations are able to sustain themselves until that time comes.

In the wild, Maned wolves are near threatened. At his new home, Mr. Fin will play a crucial role in the conservation of his species. Once he completes the introduction process with a similarly-aged, female Maned wolf, the pair is recommended to breed. Our little hand-raised babe, who at times we worried wouldn’t make it, now has a chance to ensure that Maned wolves remain on our planet for future generations. Go Fin, go!

Sunset Zoo's Puppy Pals

Matty, our sweet-loving and goofy Labrador, will also have an exciting new adventure. He’s been matched with a local family after staff completed a thorough vetting process. He’ll have tens of acres to run and burn-out his Labrador energy, plus some new dog siblings! The family is overjoyed to be Matty’s forever home and we couldn’t have asked for a better fit. Plus, with them being near, we hope to hear regular updates on the dog that certainly has a special place in all of our hearts.

As for us, we’ll continue doing the work we do. We take care of animals with the highest level of care. We connect those animals to our communities so they can understand why saving these animals – and our work – is so important. And we join a community of AZA-accredited facilities to save animals. And while we certainly hope we’re not raising a Maned wolf pup this coming February, it sure was fun. And exhausting. And completely worth it.

Sunset Zoo's Puppy Pals

Sunset Zoo's Puppy Pals

Matty and Fin’s last weekend on exhibit in Manhattan is Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2. We’ll be open 9:30am to 5:00pm both days; the duo is typically out for the public to see in the morning through early afternoon. So get to the Zoo early to send them your well wishes!

And here's a reminder of where this story began...

Fin in his incubator

Matty receiving a physical by veterinarian staff

Fin and Matty playing outside

Fin and Matty getting ready to eat


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