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Howlin’ cute: Columbus Zoo welcomes newborn wolf pups

Mike Thomas

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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has announced the May 6 births of four Mexican gray wolf pups—the first born at the Zoo in 14 years. According to a press release issued by the zoo, the pups’ births mark a significant achievement for the future of the Mexican wolf, which is the rarest subspecies of gray wolf in North America.

The pups sexes of the pups are currently unknown (care to get between a wolf mother and her newborns for a check? Us either). This was the first-ever litter for mother, Winter, and father, Storm.

Both of the wolf-parents are three years old, and arrived at the Columbus Zoo earlier this year. Winter came to the Columbus Zoo on Dec. 17, 2018 from the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, New York, and Storm arrived on Dec. 11, 2018 from the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri. The two were paired at Columbus Zoo through a collaborative effort between the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Mexican Gray Wolf Species Survival Plan® (SSP) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Wolf Recovery Plan, which works to help reintroduce wolves to the southwestern United States.

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Mama and babies are being monitored by zoo staff via a closed-circuit camera. The team at the zoo reports that Winter, “has provided excellent care to the pups, whose eyes have recently opened, while Storm occasionally peeks in on them during breaks from patrolling the habitat.”

“We are extremely proud to participate in this collaborative program working to protect the future of the this important species that nearly went extinct in the 1970s. The birth of these pups is to be celebrated as this achievement offers additional hope for the Mexican gray wolf,” said Columbus Zoo President and CEO Tom Stalf.

The program has already made some strides in improving the endangered wolf populations, and the Mexican gray wolf population is finally experiencing a small rebirth since human intervention programs started in the late 1990s.

Although the pups are not currently visible to guests, they may begin venturing out of the den with their mother soon. For more information and updates, be sure to follow the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit the Zoo’s website.

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Buckeyes back to work

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Ohio State athletics is permitting athletes from seven different sports to resume voluntary workouts after a pause due to an outbreak of COVID-19. 

Ohio State defensive back Shaun Wade heads into a workout

The university said that all athletes were tested Monday before determining that the resumption was safe. 

“These young people come from across the nation and the world to be part of our Ohio State family, and we do everything we can to create a safe, healthy environment so that they have a chance to study and compete,” said Athletics Director Gene Smith. “Our medical team will continue to evaluate, and we will share decisions as we move forward.”

The Buckeyes have refused to say how many athletes have tested positive, but longtime beat reporter Tim May had said it was fewer than ten. 

OSU teams with athletes currently working out on campus are football, men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

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Standard Hall, two others reportedly closed

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Photo by: Julian Foglietti

According to multiple news outlets, including 10tv.com, the beleaguered Short North hot spot Standard Hall is once again closed temporarily after one of its employees allegedly tested positive for COVID-19.

The original Facebook and other social media posts that led to the news reports have been removed from Standard Hall's social media sites.

Standard Hall was one of the first establishments to reopen once COVID restrictions were lifted and was immediately one of the first to close due to violations. It reopened just three weeks ago.

The state does not require a restaurant to close after an employee tests positive but strongly recommends it. In this case, two other Corso Ventures establishments are reportedly closed because the same employee was within both places: the Short North Pint House and Short North Goody Boy. The now deleted Facebook post supposedly said they were closing all three for a short time to deep clean each of the establishments.

You can stay tuned for updates here or on Standard Hall's Facebook page.

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Toledo officer killed; Statehouse flags to fly half staff

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Photo courtesy Fox 8 Cleveland provided to them by Ohio Going Blue

Governor Mike DeWine issued a statement this morning after Toledo police officer Anthony Dia was killed in the line of duty this morning around 12:30 a.m.

DeWine has ordered Statehouse and Lucas County flags at half staff through his funeral service, expected next week.

"Fran and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death last night of Toledo Police Officer Anthony Dia in the line of duty," DeWine stated. "We extend our sympathy to his wife and 2-year-old child, his other family members, and his colleagues in the Toledo Police Department.  To honor the life and service of Officer Dia, I have ordered that the flags in Lucas County and at the Statehouse be lowered to half staff beginning tomorrow and through his funeral service."

You can read the in-depth account, including witness statements and video of the event on the Toldeo Blade website here.

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