Difficult Decision: Red Wolf #1389

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.

7 responses to Difficult Decision: Red Wolf #1389

  1. Marilyn says:

    I know what you mean about the picture, Sherry. As I was closing Explore the Wild last night, all three of them started howling. It is a truly special thing to hear and watch wolves howl, and it was a tear-jerker for me to know that I was the sole witness to the last time they would all be heard together. It’s still difficult for me to think about as I type this comment, as he was euthanized today. He will be missed by all of us.

  2. unc929498 says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the wolf. We visited the museum this week and saw the remaining two brothers sleeping in the sun and I thought of the missing wolf.It might be nice to set up a drop box somewhere in the museum where regular visitors can write down a note about their visits to see the wolves (or fond memories of other animals who have passed away like Mr. Mooster) and also make a small donation to support the animal department in memory of Wolf #1389 or Mr. Moo. The written memories might mean a lot to the caretakers who have looked after these animals for their time at the Museum and I’m sure a lot of people would want to make some sort of contribution to show that they care.

  3. Sherry says:

    Thanks for your thoughts and ideas UNC929498.I’ll pass on your suggestions, but in the meantime comments on the Blog are always nice, you can leave any note (or donation) at the Admissions desk, on the “tell the president” cards, or on the website.

  4. We were there on 2/16 in the afternoon and it appeared one of the wolves was pacing nervously and bleeding on the neck. Was that Red Wolf #1389? We were concerned, as were the keepers observing him from above on the backside of the wolf area.Living in the neighborhood, we will miss the wolf (as we miss Mr. Moo). Our condolences. Good ideas, UNC929498, although folks could, I suppose, buy a brick and have it engraved with a memory to RW #1389 and Mr. Moo.

  5. unc929498 says:

    Great idea RR! Would it be possible for the museum to set up a fund to buy bricks in their memories? A lot of people don’t necessarily have the money to make a sufficient donation buy a brick right now, but they might certainly donate $5 or $10 or even $50 or $100 toward the cost of a brick which, combined with the donations of other museum patrons, could add a nice permanent memorial to Mr. Moo and Red Wolf #1389 while supporting all of the great work at the museum. I know a lot of kids would probably like to donate from their piggy banks, too.

  6. Sherry says:

    rr and unc929498:To answer your questions:on February 16th, it was actually #1390 who was bleeding. He was noticed on the 13th to have a swollen cheek. We believed he might have had an allergic reaction to a bite, or a possible tooth abscess. We put him on medicine (benedryl, pain meds, and antibiotics). His abscess burst on the 16th, which is the blood that you saw. While not very attractive, it was a good thing and drained well. It turns out that when our vet checked him out the following week, it was mostly healed and nothing to do with his teeth which is good: it was likely a copperhead bite that did this to him.Regarding brick purchasing, I believe that bricks may be purchased currently for our dinosaur trail and that all the $ need not be paid at once.If you are really interested, go to the Museum’s website, and ask the question. I’ll also check with the appropriate staff and get back to you…look for a future post.Thank you both for your interest and dialogue!

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