WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Zoo New York lost its oldest gray wolf on Friday.
The zoo confirmed on November 19 that its gray wolf, Keenai, died after being closely observed this year. He was 14.
Keenai first arrived at the zoo on December 8, 2008, along with his lifelong mate, Kaja. Over 13 years, the pair littered 30 pups. One of the pups, Luna, still resides at Zoo New York.
According to zoo staff, the average life span of gray wolves in the wild is between six to eight years. “At nearly 15 years old, Keenai has lived a long life with Kaja, his mate, daughter Luna and all the staff that cared for him,” staff noted.
The zoo confirmed that Keenai has been receiving pain management medication and was showing signs of old age. The preliminary cause of death is age-related kidney failure.
Zoo New York Executive Director Larry Sorel issued the following statement regarding Keenai’s death:
“Keenai will be greatly missed by all especially those guests that had the chance to hear the ‘howling ballads’ by him, Kaja and Luna while at the Zoo. His life was symbolic of our great conservation efforts, as well as the amazing work of the zookeepers here. We are proud to have had her in our care.”Larry Sorel, Executive Director Zoo New York