Lehigh Valley Zoo
September 16, 2020
(Schnecksville, PA) –It is with deep sadness that the Lehigh Valley Zoo announces the passing of our 13-and-a-half-year-old Mexican gray wolf, Beta. He was under very specific veterinary care for more than two years due to chronic ailments associated with his advanced age. His keepers reported seeing him alive and well in the morning, only to find him deceased later that day.
Wolves are extremely family oriented and each wolf plays an important part in the pack. The loss of Beta’s brother, Alpha, in February resulted in the remaining brothers to be unsettled for weeks following his passing. Beta eventually assumed the role of alpha and the introduction of our new female, Magdalena, did restore order to the pack as the three forged a new familial bond. Keepers anticipate there to be unrest between the remaining two as they adjust to life without him and will closely be monitoring their behaviors for any changes. Guests may hear or see the wolves behaving strangely, so we ask for quiet and understanding as they cope with their loss and figure out their new dynamic moving forward.
Mexican gray wolves are a subspecies of gray wolf, often referred to as “el lobo”, and are the most endangered subspecies of wolf in the world. Just like each wolf is important in the pack, each wolf in the wild plays a vital role in maintaining nature’s delicate balance.
The Lehigh Valley Zoo is one of approximately fifty zoos and conservation centers helping to rehabilitate Mexican gray wolves. This subspecies was nearly brought to extinction by widespread trapping and poisoning in the early 1900s. After reintroducing Mexican gray wolves, there are a minimum of 163 in the wild and approximately 400 in the captive breeding program as of 2019.
The Lehigh Valley Zoo is proud to support the recovery of the Mexican gray wolf population, and will continue to educate the public on these fascinating and beautiful animals in hopes they will one day have a sustainable wild population. By supporting AZA accredited zoos and aquariums, you can help save species like the Mexican gray wolf.
As a member-supported non-profit organization, Lehigh Valley Zoological Society was founded in 2004, but as a treasured community landmark, the Zoo’s history spans over a century. Founded in 1906 by General Harry C. Trexler, a local industrialist, the Lehigh Valley’s Trexler Game Preserve has educated and entertained more than five million people.
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Lehigh Valley Zoo hosts year-round, family-friendly events and activities, educational programs, and camps. With a mission to create a safe, engaging and enlightening wildlife experience for guests of all ages, the Zoo demonstrates leadership in the cultural, scientific and conservation communities. To learn more about Lehigh Valley Zoo, we invite you to visit our website, www.lvzoo.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.