Akron Zoo’s endangered red wolf passes away

Rue (Photo courtesy: Akron Zoo)

AKRON, Ohio– The Akron Zoo is mourning the loss of its female red wolf.

Rue was born at the Miller Park Zoo in Illinois in April 2011 and came to the Akron Zoo in 2013. The following year, she was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease.

Despite efforts by the vet team, Rue did not respond to treatment and her health significantly declined over the past two months, the zoo said. They made the decision to euthanize her on Feb. 17.

“We are devastated by the loss of Rue, not only for our family here at the Akron Zoo, but also as an ambassador for the red wolf species,” said Doug Piekarz, president and CEO at the Akron Zoo, in a statement on Thursday.

“Thank you to our veterinary and animal care teams who worked diligently to care for Rue on a daily basis to ensure her welfare. The Akron Zoo remains committed to raising public awareness about the plight of the red wolf, and supporting the recovery of the species to ensure it doesn’t become extinct in the wild for a second time,” Piekarz said.

Inflammatory bowel disease is common in red wolves and is not curable, according to the Akron Zoo.

The zoo still has a male red wolf, Itabi, who remains on exhibit daily.

Red wolves are the most endangered canids in the world with only about 60 left in the wild. They can only be found in a protected area of North Carolina. They are often mistaken for coyotes.

More stories on the Akron Zoo here