Rolling Hills Loses Last Gray Wolf To Cancer
KSAL Staff - Thu 09:30 AM 11/15/2012
Rolling Hills Zoo lost the last of their gray wolves last week.
According to the zoo, Stony, the last remaining wolf, had to be euthanized as a result of his declining health from the effects of a rare, aggressive cancer.
Stony was the last of the pack of four male gray wolves. He died Tuesday morning. He was 11-1/2 years old.
Stony was born in Omaha, NE, at the Wildlife Safari Park in May of 2001. He came to Rolling Hills along with three other males, Cain, Rio, and Lobo, in August of 2003. Cain passed away in 2010, Rio in 2011, and Lobo earlier this year.
Gray wolves typically live six to eight years in the wild, and typically up to 12 or 13 in captivity.
With the passing of Stony, Rolling Hills is examining the future for the physical exhibit as well as consideration of acquiring more gray wolves as part of the animal collection.
The gray wolf, also known as the timber wolf, is the largest member of the canine family. Wolves can range in color, from pure white in Arctic populations, to brown, gray, cinnamon, and black. As the ancestor of the domestic dog, the gray wolf resembles German shepherds or malamutes. There are an estimated 7,000 to 11,200 wolves in Alaska and more than 5,000 in the lower 48 states. Around the world there are an estimated 200,000 in 57 countries, compared to up to 2 million in earlier times.
Wolves were once common throughout all of North America but were killed in most areas of the United States by the mid-1930s. Today their range has been reduced to Canada and portions of Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Mexican wolves are found in New Mexico and Arizona. Thanks to the reintroduction of wolves in 1995, Yellowstone National Park is one of the most favored places to see and hear wolves in the native habitat.