Shadow, an Arctic subspecies of the gray wolf, was born May 8, 2000 and was a littermate to Malik. Shadow was the leader of the Exhibit Pack from 2002 – 2010 when he joined Malik in the Retired Pack on July 26th, 2010. While wolves in the wild may not live much past ten years of age, Shadow lived to be 14 years of age. His littermate Malik was euthanized on March 22, 2014 due to a ruptured mass on his kidney that caused internal bleeding. Shadow’s decline was also age related and followed shortly after Malik. Shadow was euthanized on July 2, 2014. As a strong pack leader, Shadow taught staff and wolves alike, many lessons in wolf behavior.
For those of you who would like to honor Shadow or any of the “Gone But Not Forgotten” ambassador wolves, please consider a gift to the Wolf Care Fund in their memory. This fund goes directly to the continued care of current and future wolf pack mates.
Recent Logs for Shadow:
Shadow’s Necropsy Results
I received Shadow’s necropsy report today. Similar to Malik, he had a ruptured mass that led to some internal bleeding and without euthanasia, he would have likely succumb to blood loss. Differing from Malik, Shadow’s mass was cancerous and had spread from his kidney to his lungs. The cancer is called a Hemangiosarcoma, known for rapid growth, with limited clinical signs until the tumor has become very large and spreads between organs.
Shadow – A Greeting Like No Other
Shadow was always exuberant in his greetings… Curator, Lori Schmidt on the left and long-time volunteer, Sherry Jokinen on the right.
Shadow – Thoughts From The Wolf Care Staff
After 14 years, the memories are plentiful and are often accompanied by a smile; but to honor, where do we start? Because we study behavior, we will use the behavioral terms that most represent Shadow.
- Direct Eye Stare and Avert Gaze: Shadow could control anyone with just one look and knew when to avoid engaging in some juvenile or lower pack member confrontations.
- Greeting: There has been no other wolf in the history of the Center’s operation that could clean a face better than Shadow’s daily greetings (even if they included a low throated growl)
- Invite Chase: Pushing up from a playbow into a full run away from another wolf inviting them to chase… even displaying this behavior in retirement where the chase was diminished but the playbow was alive and well
- Chin Rest: Who could forget the power of one chin on another wolf’s back… wolf care staff borrowed this technique from Shadow and use it to control young pups.. a hand on top of the muzzle, neck or back
- Parallel Gate: He was the master at pair bonding and the image of Maya and Shadow will forever be in my mind
- Howls: Who could forget the pack leader howls and the bark howls that told us when enough was enough
There are so many more memories that remind us how honored we are to work with these complex, social predators… Shadow, you trusted our team. Every time you placed your head on our shoulder or gently rested your head against our head, it reinforced that trust and our commitment to provide our wolves with the best care possible. Our greatest respect and heartfelt appreciation Shadow.. RIP Our Dear Friend…
From the Ely Wolf Care Staff
Shadow – And Jen…
Shadow had his favorites and Jen was one of the most important wolf care staff in the lives of the arctics, for both Shadow and Malik.
Shadow – RIP My Friend
Shadow was euthanized on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 after staff documented a significant physical decline in his overall condition, most likely age-related. While details of the necropsy report may be weeks away, the surveillance camera and video review of his activity in weeks and days before his decline revealed an aging body, but a strong alert mind.
Shadow’s loss so close to Malik’s was hard, but we know, that 14 years of age is a good run and both of these boys had a few good runs in their life. As I review the photos on facebook and images I used for the tribute, there were many good times. Shadow was an incredible personality, a strong pack leader that held the Exhibit Pack together for 8 years and we were fortunate to have known him. Certainly Shadow began to show his age as he led the Exhibit Pack, but the few months we have witnessed a notable change. As Wolf Care Staff, we always want to be responsive to that moment when pain and discomfort is too much to bear. We are legally bound to this management by USDA permits and ethically bound to this management when we bond with socialized wolves. We owe it to the wolves who have served as ambassadors, “Teaching the World about Wolves”. There are countless visitors that witnessed Shadow displaying the intricacies of wolf behavior and Shadow has made a lasting impression.
The thoughts, kind words and stories are welcome and shared by the wolf care staff. So, let’s welcome, yet again, another wolf to the “Gone but Not Forgotten Pack” and rest assured, our staff will never forget Shadow.