Wolf Haven International staffers are mourning the loss of Pahana, a 13-year-old male grey wolf euthanized Saturday because he was suffering from sinus cancer.
The wolf was brought to the animal sanctuary in 2009, rescued from a hoarder in rural Idaho. Wolf Haven removed six wolf pups from the same property in 2000, but it was not allowed to take Pahana or the wolf’s mother, “The Mama,” until almost a decade later.
“The woman tried to make a house pet out of him, and we’ve seen pictures of him inside covered in feces with a double choke chain,” said Kim Young, communications director with Wolf Haven. “Then he lived in a dusty pen outside by himself.”
Eventually, the State of Idaho confiscated animals on the woman’s property and called for Wolf Haven to remove the two remaining wolves.
Pahana lived out the rest of its life alongside his younger sibling from the original 2000 rescue, a 12-year-old grey wolf named Mehina.
“Pahana did a lot of rolling in the grass when he first got here,” Young said. “He may have never seen or felt grass before, and it took him a while to adjust.”
Those who toured the sanctuary might have noticed Pahana’s inability to howl.
“He would go through the motions, throw his head back, but he physically couldn’t,” Young said.
Staffers noticed the wolf’s health began to fail this year. Once his quality of life began to wane, animal-care staffers decided it was time to euthanize him. About 125 people paid money to “adopt” Pahana during his life; Young said they were notified of his death first.
Many of those who adopted Pahana have sent condolence letters to Wolf Haven, Young said.
“He was a survivor,” she said. “You just saw the joy that he had once he was here; we just feel like he hung in there and he made it to a safe place where he was loved.”