SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 1, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah’s Hogle Zoo euthanized its 14-year-old female wolf, Neph, over the weekend.
Neph started having joint discomfort in her hind legs a little over six months ago, the zoo said in a news release.
“Our veterinarians gave her joint supplements and pain medication every day which helped,” the news release said. “In the last week, her appetite began declining and her mobility in her hind legs was getting worse.”
On Saturday morning her keepers noted she couldn’t get up. At that time the animal care team unanimously agreed that Neph was letting them know it was time.
Neph came to Hogle Zoo in 2007 and lived with 11-year-old male wolf, Glacier.
“Neph loved playing with Glacier, getting large bones and tearing up enrichment,” said Celeste Cambareri , long-time wolf keeper, in a prepared statement.
“She will be greatly missed. Neph taught me a lot about natural wolf behavior and she taught our guests how amazing and important wolves are to maintaining a healthy balanced ecosystem.”
Glacier was given time with Neph after she passed and will be mourning the loss of his pack member, the zoo statement said.
“He’s been howling more frequently but he’s getting extra attention and enrichment,” Cambareri added.
The zoo is actively working on finding another wolf or two as companions for Glacier.
Wolves can live to age 14 or 15 in zoos, and typically, live to age 8 or 9 in the wild.