I last wrote about Red Wolf #1389 a few days before Christmas, exactly two months ago. He had torn ligaments in a leg, and had some other issues pop up, but he seemed to be hanging in there. (To read the complete post, click here).
A lot has happened since then. He tore ligaments in another leg, and additional radiographs (x-rays) showed not only the tears, but also extensive arthritis. The last two months have been spent watching him, medicating him, taking him in for radiographs, talking about his situation to numerous veterinarians, consulting with Red Wolf Species Survival Plan personnel, many conversations with the Keepers, and lots of long nights processing all of the information to come up with the best plan of what to do.
It’s with a heavy heart that I report that the decision has been made to euthanize him. I’ve worked in the animal department at the Museum for over 15 years, and I’d have to say this has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make, if not the most difficult one. With all that has been learned, I feel it is the right decision, which I guess makes it a little easier, but I am not really sure.
I included the photo of the three brothers in the pool because I love this photo: It was the first time I saw them running around and splashing, and it is also a reminder that it will never happen again.