Alpha Female, 1998 European Pack (canis lupus lupus, European wolf)
Born 1997 in Czechoslovakia
Luna came to us in 1998, imported with two other European wolves. She had been hand reared with ten other cubs by Erick Zimen at his centre in Merzig, East Germany before being transferred to the Dutch Wolf Recovery Centre in Holland, ready to be imported by Roger Palmer to the UK in 1998.
In 1999 Apollo and Luna were seen mating and on 3rd May Luna gave birth to six cubs. Two of the cubs died, one was rolled on by Luna and the other had a cleft palate. Of the remaining four Alba, Lunca and Latea stayed at the UKWCT and the fourth, Luana, went to Paradise Wildlife Park.
Although London Zoo’s records showed they had some European wolves in the early 20th century, after research from the BBC these cubs from Apollo and Luna were found to be the first European wolf cubs to have been born in the UK since they were eradicated in the 16th century.
Apollo, Luna and Athena (the third wolf) were sold to Wildwood in Kent in 2000, where Luna had several more litters with Apollo. She died in 2004 after a short undiagnosed illness despite the best efforts of the staff at Wildwood to save her.
The following year some of the cubs went to the Anglian Wolf Society. One of these cubs eventually sired Torak, one of our present wolves at the UKWCT.