Hogle Zoo forced to put down 14-year-old wolf

Posted at 2:53 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 17:07:13-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The Hogle Zoo said it was forced to euthanize a wolf over the weekend.

Officials said 14-year-old “Neph” started having joint problems about six months ago.

Over the last week, her appetite declined and the issues with her hind legs were getting worse.

Saturday keepers noticed Neph couldn’t get up and decided she was letting them know it was her time.

The zoo wrote,

Hi friends – We have some sad news to announce today.
Our beautiful female wolf, Neph, was humanely euthanized over the weekend.
Neph was 14 years-old which is definitely a senior. Wolves can live to 14 or 15 in zoos (typically, age 8 or 9 in the wild). So she certainly had a good, long life.
She started having joint discomfort in her hind legs a little over six months ago. Our veterinarians gave her joint supplements and pain medication every day which helped.
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 loved playing with Glacier, getting large bones and tearing up enrichment,” said Celeste, long-time wolf keeper. “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.”
She came to Hogle Zoo in 2007 and lived with 11 year-old Glacier.
Glacier was given time with Neph after she passed 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.
We are actively working on finding another wolf or two as companions for Glacier.
We’ll miss you sweet girl