Born on April 14, 2009 in Bear Country, SD
Arrived at Mission: Wolf on July 20, 2009
Aria (Uh-rye-uh) is a white male Arctic wolf that was born in the spring of 2009 at Bear Country, a wildlife safari park in South Dakota. He came to Mission: Wolf with his three litter mates and four Gray wolf pups who had been raised in the same enclosure. Due to the failing economy, the park had been unable to sell the two litters and no longer had room to house them. At nearly four months of age, they arrived at Mission: Wolf in a horse trailer.
Our lead Ambassadors, Magpie and Abe, eagerly took the pups in. Just as they all began to settle into life at the refuge, tragedy struck and the pups became ill with parvovirus. Two died in front of us and a third on her way to the vet. Aria, who was in the worst shape of the remaining five, had gone into a coma. The veterinarian was doing tests to diagnose the illness but it would take up to a week to get results. Staff and vets began frantically searching for some way to help little Aria. Finally, one vet called with an idea. They told us to give Aria as many fluids as we could and to take his temperature every 30 minutes and try to regulate it. Staff worked tirelessly to administer the treatment, and on the third day they were rewarded when Aria woke up. He immediately chewed out his catheter and tried to chew his way out of his airline kennel. Within a day, his wolf behavior returned: his paws hit the four foot mark on the walls as he ran around inside the recovery room.
Aria was promptly taken back to a proper enclosure and placed with Lil’ Hailey Star, who was recovering from a wound. The two looked at each other in relief and shared their own home until they were both strong enough to be placed with a pack. One of our older wolves, Raven, was in need of pack-mates, so we introduced her to both Hailey and Aria. Aria fell in love with her, but Hailey was not as excited. The three lived harmoniously for a few years until Hailey began showing signs of wanting to lead her own pack. After trying unsuccessfully to pair Hailey with several other males, we finally moved her back in with Aria. The two now live happily together in their own enclosure, and can regularly be seen playing and running along their hill.
Aria was named by a Mission: Wolf volunteer (a retired Air Force nurse) for a special Air Force flying program that collected information and transmitted it to the space station. An entire crew from ARIA was killed during a mission and our Aria is named in memory of them.