Ottawa University-Arizona (OUAZ) has announced its exclusive sponsorship of the Phoenix Zoo’s Mexican gray wolf habitat. The agreement was made official in late September, and in mid-November the zoo will unveil new signage at the habitat to promote OUAZ as its sponsor.
In May, the Phoenix Zoo welcomed a litter of six Mexican gray wolf pups as part of a national program that aims to restore these endangered wolves to their native Southwest territory. The OUAZ-sponsored habitat is an important component in achieving this goal set by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Mexican Gray Wolf Species Survival Plan along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wolf Recovery Plan.
“We are grateful for Ottawa University Arizona’s support of our Mexican gray wolf habitat,” Bert Castro, President and CEO of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo, said. “With only 131 gray wolves left in the wild, this sponsorship will help boost awareness of this elusive and endangered species.”
Ottawa University opened its residential campus in Surprise, Ariz., in August 2017, and soon after appointed its mascot as a Mexican gray wolf named “Fang.” The selection of the gray wolf was a symbolic nod to one of the Ottawa Indian Tribe’s sacred animals, as well as to the nearby White Tank mountain range, where gray wolves can be found. In honor of OUAZ’s mascot, one of the Phoenix Zoo’s wolf pups will be named Fang.
“The Legend of Fang, OUAZ’s mascot, is one of a lone wolf who finds inclusion and support from like-minded faculty, staff and students at our West Valley residential campus,” Chief Enrollment Officer Brian Sandusky said. “We saw an opportunity to support a unique ecosystem that echoes the values and spirit of our growing student body. We’re honored to have Fang come to life through his namesake at the zoo.”
Guests can visit the Mexican gray wolf habitat at the Phoenix Zoo, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit phoenixzoo.org. (Photo of wolf pup courtesy of Phoenix Zoo.)
To learn more about OUAZ and its Phoenix and Surprise campuses, visit ottawa.edu/ouaz/home.