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Male Wolf
Axel joined the Big Pack in the Sky on August 25th, 2015.
He passed at ~11 years old due to cancer.

Axel was an Arctic wolf that arrived at Wild Spirit in April of 2007. His date of birth was unknown, but what we do know is that Axel was born to captive-bred parents, Yukon and Sierra, at a breeding facility back in 2004. He is the older brother of Alice, Thunder, Sabine, Sugar, Storm and Powder, who were rescued a year prior.

Axel came to us, along with his parents, Yukon and Sierra, when his owner decided to surrender them into our care. He no longer wanted to breed Yukon and Sierra, and Axel was a pup from a former litter that he decided to keep, but no longer wished to own. Happy to give them a home, we began the process of making arrangements and set off to pick them up. Once loaded into our rescue van, all three animals were taken to the vet to be spayed and neutered, but when the vet looked at Sierra he discovered something very surprising – she was already pregnant! Although the addition of a litter of pups was not an ideal situation, staff elected to let her maintain her pregnancy.

Upon arrival at Wild Spirit, the three new rescues settled in nicely, creating their home in one of our most beautiful habitats, full of trees and rocks. Almost immediately, Sierra and Yukon prepared for their final litter by digging a den in the dirt under a large rock slab. While doing so, they uncovered a fungus called Cryptococcus, which is generally not a huge threat for canines, but for a mother and her young pups, it can be lethal. Thankfully, Axel was unaffected, as he was perfectly healthy and did not spend time in the den.

Sadly, the same could not be said for the five puppies Sierra gave birth to: Teton, Shasta, Flurry, Frost, and Trinity. Sierra and Trinity were so affected by the Cryptococcus that they ended up passing away due to the infection. Teton experienced some nerve damage in his front leg, but otherwise recovered fully, and Shasta recovered without any issue. Luckily for Flurry and Frost, they began showing a marked interest in people and wandering away from their mother to investigate the humans around them before excessive exposure occurred. Due to their interest and aptitude, we began to train them to work as Ambassadors, which meant spending a lot more time with people and less time in the enclosure. This allowed both Flurry and Frost to avoid any nerve damage from the Cryptococcus.

Axel eventually moved out from his “parent’s house” to an enclosure next door to live with a younger rescue named Riot.




Axel was a friendly fellow, who would often compete for attention from Caretakers with his companion, Riot. That being said, he was shy around new people, and needed to get to know someone before feeling comfortable enough to approach and greet humans.


Axel first lived with his parents, Yukon and Sierra. Following their passing, he found companionship in a wolfdog named Princess. Sadly, she too soon passed, and Axel was one again, alone. He eventually was paired up with a wiley gal named Contessa, but the two did not get along. Plagued with bad luck, Axel eventually met his perfect match, Riot, who was almost as playful as he was!

Likes & Dislikes

Axel liked playing with anyone who would engage with him. Whether it was Caretakers, neighbors, or his companion, someone had to play.

Axel disliked when Riot attempted to steal his enrichments and treats. He used to deliberately hide them in special caches around the habitat for late night munching!

Fun Facts

Axel was the older brother of ELEVEN animals who called Wild Spirit home: Alice, Powder, Sabine, Storm, Sugar, Thunder, Flurry, Frost, Trinity, Shasta, and Teton!

Share your Memories of Axel Below!


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