On Monday, Aug. 6, we lost one of our longtime permanent animal residents. A staff member was on her regular work routine to feed the wolves and Mama Bear, and when she couldn’t find Mkom, a Timber wolf, she entered the enclosure and found him lying on his side, recently dead.
A sanctuary favourite, Mkom the wolf, dies.
It is always a shock whenever an animal passes away, but Mkom has been a favourite for many. He was originally rescued in 2002, after being abandoned in a small crate left in an alleyway in downtown Toronto.
We don’t really know his early history, but it is possible that someone bought him as a pet when he was a puppy and neutered him in an effort to calm him down. But, a wolf retains its wild heritage even in captivity, and we can only assume that his owner couldn’t handle him and decided to abandon him to die.
Shy by nature, Mkom was always cautious around humans, especially men adding to the theory that he was abused by his former owner. Not too long ago, Mkom and Luna, our other Timber wolf were successfully introduced to each other and had the run of each other’s enclosure. But most of the time they chose to remain each in their own areas. We can only hope that for the past 10 years Mkom has had a relatively comfortable life here at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
We received the initial necropsy (an autopsy for animals) results from the University of Guelph, taken just to assure ourselves that his was a natural death from old age.
They were inconclusive, with nothing abnormal discovered, so we can only assume the death was a natural one. We will miss his howl, as will the other wolves.
(These articles are contributed by staff at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife with a mandate to educate the public towards a better understanding of local fauna.)