The El Paso Zoo is mourning the death of Zephyr, a 14-year-old Mexican Gray Wolf.

The El Paso Zoo had to euthanize Zephyr due to several age-related issues.

Back in 2016, Zephyr at the time a 10-year-old Mexican gray wolf was welcomed from the Oklahoma City Zoo. As of late, the veterinary staff at the zoo had been managing Zephyr’s health and determined that the prognosis for a good quality of life was poor, and humane euthanasia was the best course of action. The Mexican gray wolf, in particular, is very special to the El Paso Zoo as it was one of the first animals on exhibit when the Zoo was founded back in 1910 and is native to the Chihuahuan desert.

In the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of Lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in the care of humans. Because of populations in zoos and other conservation institutions, Mexican grey wolves were reintroduced into the wild in 1998 and are one of the most endangered mammals in North America. Currently, there are 97 Mexican grey wolves in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in New Mexico and Arizona.