The Springfield Parks District and the Henson Robinson Zoo announced the newest addition to their animal family - a wolverine named Olive. The Eurasian yearling wolverine was born at the Alaska Zoo and was now part of an international conservation program aimed at maintaining a genetically healthy captive population due to declining numbers of wolverines in the wild.
Known for being the largest member of the Mustelid family, wolverines have a fierce reputation as predators, capable of taking down large prey such as deer and elk. "They truly are remarkable animals," said Doug Hotle, the director of the Henson Robinson Zoo. "In the wild, they are the apex predator, and they fear nothing. They will even chase off wolves and bears to steal their meals."
Olive was settling into her new spacious enclosure with ease, according to zoo officials. Wolverines are rare in zoos, and the Henson Robinson Zoo is one of only six in the United States to exhibit them. Visitors to the zoo in Springfield were in for a rare treat with Olive's arrival.
"We had a wolverine on exhibit many years ago, and the public is always asking if and when we will bring them back," said Hotle. "It is by far our most requested animal, so we listened and worked hard to bring these amazing animals back to Springfield as part of our continuing mission to improve and expand the Henson Robinson Zoo."
The Henson Robinson Zoo was set to open for the season on April 1 with daily business hours from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. As part of the Springfield Parks District, the zoo provided the community with a unique recreational opportunity while also educating visitors about wildlife conservation.