Shadow, a wolf pup living at the San Diego Zoo, gets some play time with his caregivers in this “awww”-inspiring video. He’s exploring all kinds of new scents, tastes, and textures, from tree branches and ice cubes to cardboard boxes and fabric toys (with plenty of cuddles for good measure). This little guy was only two months old at the time this video was taken, and he has since become an ambassador for his species at the Wegeforth Bowl at the zoo. In that role, Shadow interacts with the public and helps to teach visitors about how wonderful wolves are, and how vital they are for a healthy ecosystem.

Wolf Pup Shadow at San Diego Zoo

People who’d ordinarily think of wolves as scary or mean would have a hard time associating words like that with this beautiful boy. Many fear that which they don’t understand, and hopefully by being able to spend time with a wolf and learn more about them, people’s prejudices against his species can be dispelled, and the public will help to protect wolves from being mistreated and hunted in the future.

To learn more about Shadow, you can visit the San Diego Zoo website, and if you’d like to help support and sponsor wild wolves (and help protect their habitat!) please visit the World Wildlife Fund or the National Wildlife Federation.

+ San Diego Zoo

+ World Wildlife Fund – Wolves

+ National Wildlife Federation – Wolves

Image and video © the San Diego Zoo