George was found injured and weak when he was just 15 days old by social worker Dr Prakash Amte around 10 years ago. Amte nursed him back to health and raised him in Hemalkasa, an isolated tribal village about 350 km south of Nagpur. Now a full grown wolf, George has been shifted to the Pune zoo in order to breed with females there.
"George was brought here by special request to breed with the two female wolves at the Katraj zoo," Rajkumar Jadhav, head of the Pune Municipal Corporation-run zoo, said.
George arrived on Friday and has been quarantined for 15 days before the actual breeding, for which he will be released into the female wolves’ enclosure.
Jadhav said that people who want to see George, made famous by his presence alongside Prakash and Mandakini Amte, can do so within a fortnight when he will be let loose in the open enclosure.
George of the jungle will be around only till the breeding is successful, and will then be sent back to his original habitat at Hemalkasa.
10-year-old George was brought to the centre 8 days ago in a PMC special van from Gadchirolli district and it is hoped he will mate with the zoo's two female wolves.
"People have little knowledge about Indian wolves and often mistake them for a jackal or hyena. George was kept with the jackals so that people can see the difference. The colour is similar but the size differs. Indian wolves are bigger," Amte said.
In view of the declining population of the Indian Wolf, the Katraj Zoo authorities had asked Amte to lend George to the centre for breeding.