One wolf that escaped from Amersfoort Zoo dead, other in critical condition
One of the wolves that escaped from the Amersfoort Zoo earlier this week died, the zoo announced on Friday. The other was said to be in a critical condition. It was not fully clear why the wolf died.
An autopsy revealed that the wolf had underlying heart problems and multiple small bite wounds. “It can still take some time before the autopsy is fully completed”, team leader of the zoo caretaking Willem Verdonck said. “The death of this animal hits very hard.”
The two wolves escaped on Monday and were returned to their enclosure 45 minutes later. They were able to breach a weak spot in the fence, something that would not have been possible without a considerable adrenaline rush, the zoo stated.
How exactly the wolves came to harm was not fully determined.
Both of them were at the bottom of the hierarchy in the pack. Zoo caretakers reported seeing two females behaving dominantly towards the two long-ranking wolves. The two females have been moved to a different enclosure. Tensions among members of a wolf pack are normal, the zoo said.
One possibility is that the wolves were chased into a corner and wounded when they tried to escape. The fear could have caused the heart failure.
“With the separation of the two dominant females we see now that the social structure has stabilized again”, Verdonck said. “The other wolves will be brought as soon as possible to their original enclosure and will, therefore, be visible to the public.”
The injured wolf has been looked after by veterinarians at the zoo.