El PASO, Texas – The El Paso Zoo staff is saddened over the loss of 14-year-old Mexican gray wolf, Ash. Ash and her sister Ivy were born at the Columbus Zoo, transferred to the Cincinnati Zoo, and both were later transferred to the El Paso Zoo.
“I’ve been at the Zoo for over 15 years, so I’ve watched Ash and Ivy grow as part of the Zoo family,” said Area Supervisor Tony Zydonyk. “Ash was a longtime resident, and I know all of us are going to miss her, especially the keepers in her area.”
Ash had a number of common age-related health issues, including arthritis in her knees and back, that were being managed by the Animal Care and Veterinary teams. Because medical intervention was no longer able to overcome her declining condition, the Zoo’s animal care team determined that euthanasia was the most humane option. Ash’s sister, Ivy, passed away last month, and pathology results are still pending to determine her cause of death. Both had exceeded the life expectancy for Mexican gray wolves under human care. Our 11-year-old, male Mexican wolf, Zephyr, appears to be in good health.
The El Paso Zoo has worked diligently in efforts to conserve the Mexican wolf. In addition to the wolves that currently live at the Zoo, the Zoo has sponsored various Mexican wolf conservation efforts, and recently, Zoo staff worked with the Turner Endangered Species Fund (TESF) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to vaccinate, examine and treat eleven Mexican wolves that were released into the wild.
The Mexican gray wolf in our care serves as an example of the three things we want the community to know about the El Paso Zoo: (1) The Zoo provides excellent and expert care for animals, prioritizing their welfare and wellbeing. (2) The Zoo is actively saving wildlife from extinction through its conservation work at the zoo and in the field. (3) The Zoo acts and communicates with the purpose of inspiring people to value wild animals, taking responsibility for their safeguarding and action for their stability.