NEW Zoo mourning the loss of Jason the red wolf

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Officials with the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park announced Tuesday morning the unfortunate passing of Jason the red wolf.

According to a release, Jason came to the NEW Zoo in 2021 and was meant to be a mate for the resident female wolf, Mayo.

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Zoo officials say that while the two wolves never produced any offspring, they were strongly bonded and had a close relationship.

In the last week, Jason’s caretaker reportedly noticed the wolf exhibiting symptoms that appeared to be minor and similar to a head cold before scheduling a routine veterinary exam.

During the exam, it was said that Jason had become afflicted with aggressive oral and nasal cancer. Given the nature and history of these types of cancer, the zoo made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize Jason.

Courtesy of the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park

Courtesy of the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park

Courtesy of the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park

Officials say Jason the red wolf outlived the typical life expectancy of his species as he died at the age of 12. They say he spent most of his life at a different AZA-accredited zoo where he sired several pups that were eventually released into the wild before arriving at the NEW Zoo.

Zoo staff adds that red wolves are the world’s most endangered canid with a current population of 18-20 individual wolves living in the wild with 250 living in human care.

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Officials say that Jason’s companion, Mayo, recently celebrated her 15th birthday making her one of the oldest red wolves in the world.

She is said to be under close observation as she adjusts to the loss of her pack mate while NEW Zoo staff work with the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan to find another good companion for her.