June 23, 2024

Lee Richardson Zoo bids sad farewell to maned wolf

(Courtesy of Lee Richardson Zoo)

During morning rounds on June 23, Lee Richardson Zoo staff were saddened to find that Lorenzo, a 10-year-old maned wolf, had passed away during the night.

Two days before, on Friday, June 21, veterinary care staff had successfully removed a cantaloupe-sized growth that they had found hiding in his abdominal cavity during an examination. Lorenzo had been sedated for the physical after Animal Care staff reported weight loss, as well as changes in his activity, appetite, and attitude.

“On Saturday, he was up enjoying a post-operative meal and moving around some so it gave us some hope he would pull through,” said Zoo Director Kristi Newland. A necropsy performed on Sunday showed signs the cancer may have moved to his lungs.

Lorenzo loved to claim anything, enrichment or otherwise, added to the wolves’ habitat. “Before I could put a second one down, he’d be over marking the first bag or whatever it was,” said Keeper I Kelly Sandhofer. He will be missed.

Maned wolves, nicknamed foxes on stilts, have the longest legs in proportion to their spine of any canid. They are native to tall grasslands of Central South America.  Their most significant threat is the drastic reduction of habitat, especially due to conversion to agricultural land.

Another maned wolf, Diaz, can be seen in the South American Pampas area at Lee Richardson Zoo. Please visit the Zoo or our website to learn more about this interesting species.