It was love at first sight when Alaskans first caught a glimpse of the five wolf pups rescued from the Funny River wildfire on the Kenai Peninsula.
The pups in the litter, abandoned by their mother, suffered injuries from a porcupine as well as dehydration.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game brought the pack to the Alaska Zoo to be nursed back to health. Zoo staff say the pups, known as the Funny River Five, are doing better than ever -- but a full recovery means it’s time for them to head to their new home at the Minnesota Zoo.
Once word of the pups' rescue got out, the Alaska Zoo became their temporary home. Thousands flocked to get a glimpse of the survivors, which even catching the eye of national television.
The five wolf pups were named Stebbins, X-Ray, Gannet, Cooper and Huslia by firefighters who rescued them on the fire lines.
But the day that was so obviously coming is quickly approaching. The Funny River Five are heading to their new home on Tuesday at the Minnesota Zoo.
As much as the Alaska Zoo wanted to keep the wolf pups, zoo staff say they simply just don’t have room for another wolf pack.
The Funny River Five are leaving now because the pups are small enough to fit in two kennels so they won’t be traveling alone.
Monday is the last day zoo visitors can visit the pups before they leave for Minnesota. The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.