Kenai will guide his trainer to a cement driveway to wait patiently for a warehouse worker to bucket and hand deliver his personal pile of ice. These employees, while very busy with their own tasks, always take the time and often race one another just to supply Kenai with his ice pile. Kenai always looks the generous employee in the eye to convey his gratitude, then gleefully plunges into the cubes. Bystanders can’t help but smile watching this Arctic wolf frolic in the cold wetness. Kenai often eats it, too.
This warehouse is a busy place: semi trucks off-load supplies, construction and maintenance workers pass in and off Zoo grounds here, and daily supplies are loaded onto trucks that are delivered throughout the Zoo daily. None of this traffic disturbs the pleasure Kenai takes in his contact with his ice pile. One would think the sound of a back-up beeper on a semi truck might set off an instinctual alarm in this exotic animal. Either there isn’t one in place or he is ignoring the information, because his enjoyment is overriding it. Nonetheless, Kenai has made this stop a part of his daily routine.
If you don’t get a chance to see him at the warehouse, buy a ticket to Backstage Pass, where you’ll meet him while you eat and enjoy your ice right along with Kenai!
Maureen O. Duryee is a senior animal handler at the San Diego Zoo. Read a previous post, Kenai on Vacation.