DISLIKES ~ Romeo does not like wolves and wolf-dogs! If one of our rescues is walking past his habitat, he will puff up his fur, show his teeth and scream at them.
The DNR took care of Romeo until they thought he was old enough to be released into a national park. Unfortunately, Romeo had become so comfortable with humans, he kept approaching people at the picnic grounds. The DNR knew this would make his survival much more difficult, and they felt it was unlikely he could ever fully re-assimilate to the wild. They recaptured Romeo and contacted Fejervary Children’s Zoo in Iowa. Romeo was moved to his new home at the zoo where he lived next door to four wolves.
When Romeo was around two years old, the Fejervary Zoo began having trouble with funding and community support. With a plan to relocate their exotic animals, they called Wild Spirit. The zoo asked if we had a place for the three remaining wolves who lived next to Romeo and were now looking for a new home.
We agreed to take the three older wolves Akela, Brutus II and Navar. When our staff arrived at the zoo, they also met Romeo and quickly fell in love with the charming little fox. Considering that the zoo was experiencing funding issues, we offered to take Romeo if he ever needed a place to go. Sadly, the zoo eventually had to close completely, so they called Wild Spirit and asked us if we still wanted to give Romeo a home. Of course, we did!
Welcoming Romeo to Wild Spirit took some time. First, we had to get a special educational animal license to qualify to be Romeo’s new home. We also wanted an enclosure that would fit his unique habitat needs. We spent the summer building a beautiful custom fox habitat and waiting for our license to be finalized. All our volunteers and many of our supporters came together to create a beautiful space complete with a fountain, stream and custom mural! Finally, Romeo was escorted to New Mexico by his zoo friends and welcomed into his new home, where he would live across from his old neighbors, the pack of wolves. To everyone’s amazement, Romeo’s old friends ran to their fence line to greet him and howl a welcoming song. Watch the amazing moment below!
Romeo continues to thrive at Wild Spirit! He has remodeled his enclosure, breaking his water pipes several times, digging his own dens, and adding several deep holes. If we try to repair his changes, he gets quite upset – our little fox knows what he wants! He is thrilled to greet our tour guests and loves screaming at other rescues when they’re out on leash walks. Romeo is often a favorite of our tour guests, and we’re so proud to have him as part of our pack.