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Abby (who is one of Anna’s daughters) was born April 11, 2004 into a large litter of pups. In September of 2004, she suffered a fracture to her rear left leg at the growth plate - a common injury in large breed dogs. Abby had to have pins put in and a cast applied to her broken leg. Her injury was the result of trying to jump on top of the den boxes. Incredibly, over the next few weeks two more pups received the same rear leg fracture as Abby. For identification purposes, the three became known as pups A, B, and C for the order their injuries were received. They eventually became “Abby”, “Betsy” and “Charlie” – but only Abby’s name stuck! She and her sibling companions remained separated from their pack for several weeks as their fractures healed.
Once healed, the three were returned to their pack. Over time Abby unfortunately filled the role of omega in her pack. Omega wolves are at the bottom of the pack hierarchy and are often the first to leave their pack in the wild. Abby was often chased and harassed due to her omega status. It was decided to remove Abby out of the pack to alleviate her difficult situation.
Abby joined Rocky, a vasectomized male, as a companion. Abby and Rocky were very good for each other and were quite active in investigating their enclosure and other neighboring wolves. During their time together, the pair was involved in reproductive research being conducted by the Saint Louis Zoo for the Mexican gray wolf Species Survival Plan. The pair was observed during breeding season for breeding behavior, and Abby participated in hormonal implant studies. In 2008, an attempt was made to artificially inseminate Abby. The genetic donor was a male named Perkins, who was also born at The Endangered Wolf Center. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful and Abby did not have pups.
In 2009, Abby was moved to a new enclosure and introduced to Perkins in the hopes that the pair would have pups the following spring. The introduction went well, and the pair showed promising bonding behavior. Abby seems much more relaxed in her new, larger enclosure. She and Perkins are often seen sleeping near each other. On May 2, 2010, Abby gave birth to a litter of five healthy pups. Abby is a very attentive mother and is taking good care of the pups. We are very excited to watch the pups grow in the coming months, and to observe Abby in her first-time roll as a mother!