GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nazca, the Greensboro Science Center’s male maned wolf and the father of the four puppies born recently, has passed away.
Nazca was just shy of his 11th birthday and was considered a senior, as the lifespan of maned wolves in captivity is typically 10 to 14 years of age, GSC said in a statement.
For the last few weeks, Nazca had a cough that caused the animal care team concern. Over the weekend, staff observed some swelling in his neck. In an attempt to identify the cause, he was brought to the on-site animal hospital where a veterinary team performed an exam.
Crackles, wheezing, and wet sounds were observed when listening to his lungs. An ultrasound-guided aspiration biopsy revealed concerning cells. Fluid was found in his chest cavity.
Due to his age, the advanced state of the illness, and his rapidly declining quality of life, the decision was made to humanely euthanize him. Although the results of a necropsy are pending, Veterinarian Dr. Sam Young says Nazca had an advanced lung cancer.
His mate, Anaheim, was given the opportunity to say goodbye and her behavior will be closely monitored in the weeks ahead.
“Nazca will be remembered by many of us at the GSC not just as a truly magnificent animal, but also as a fantastic father. During his time with us, he sired nine beautiful pups through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). He and his first mate, Lana, had three pups in February of 2011. He was then recommended to breed with Anaheim, who has been his mate since 2015. Together, they produced two successful litters, a boy and girl in March of 2016, and the four pups (two males and two females) born in December 2018.”
The maned wolf exhibit has been closed since early December in preparation for the puppies’ birth. The exhibit is scheduled to reopen Feb. 11, when the puppies are a little older.
“We are grateful for all of your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of our beloved Nazca.”