SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – A female wolf at the Utah’s Hogle Zoo was euthanized over the weekend, the zoo announced Monday.
Zoo keepers say 14-year-old Neph started having joint discomfort in her hind legs about six months ago. Veterinarians gave her joint supplements and pain medication as treatment.
Within the last week, zoo officials say her appetite began declining and her mobility in her hind legs was getting worse. Saturday morning zoo keepers noticed she couldn’t get up. That’s when the animal care team decided it was time to let Neph go.
“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,” said Celeste, long-time wolf keeper.
Zoo representatives say wolves can live to 14 or 15 years at zoo and typically to age 8 or 9 in the wild.
Neph came to the Hogle Zoo in 2007 and lived with 11-year-old wolf, Glacier.
Glacier was given time with Neph after she died and will be mourning the loss of his pack member.
“He’s been howling more frequently but he’s getting extra attention and enrichment,” Celeste said.
The zoo is actively working to find another wolf or two as companions for Glacier.