Abilene Zoo mourns the loss of Henry, a cherished maned wolf, who passed away on January 29 due to complications from an intestinal blockage. At nearly 11 years old, Henry had been a beloved resident since arriving at Abilene Zoo in July 2023.
Known for his strong bond with his mate, Vega, Henry’s role in the breeding program at Abilene Zoo has contributed to the conservation of the maned wolf species, listed as near-threatened. Designated as an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) SAFE species, maned wolves represent one of the many endangered species that AZA-accredited institutions, including Abilene Zoo, work to preserve from extinction. Henry’s passing is deeply felt by the Abilene Zoo staff and community. His story serves as an inspiration for the continued commitment to further these important initiatives.
Henry’s legacy lives on through his offspring, Lyra, born at Abilene Zoo on December 18, 2023. With maned wolves typically living from 12 to 15 years under human care, Lyra’s birth was particularly exciting given Henry’s age. The new maned wolf pup presence not only ensures the continuation of Henry’s bloodline but also strengthens the Zoo’s ongoing mission to educate and inspire visitors about the importance of wildlife conservation.
“The loss of an animal is never easy. We can’t help but grieve his loss together as a zoo family. We are so thankful that Henry was able to pass on his valuable genes. We all will enjoy watching his female pup Lyra grow up! It emphasizes the importance of our conservation efforts here at Abilene Zoo, reminding us that our work is crucial for the future of these species,” shared Dr. Michael Nance, Abilene Zoo’s Senior Veterinarian.
The Abilene Zoo is grateful for the support of the community during this difficult time and is appreciative of the understanding and compassion extended by everyone who has been touched by Henry.