Oshkosh zoo says goodbye to gray wolf, Thunder, who died at 17: 'He will be dearly missed'

Thunder (Source: Menominee Park Zoo)
Thunder (Source: Menominee Park Zoo)(NBC15)
Published: May. 16, 2020 at 11:16 AM CDT
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It's a sad day at the Menominee Park Zoo in Oshkosh after zookeepers announced that a beloved gray wolf there died.

The zoo

saying that Thunder arrived at the zoo from the Wildlife Science Center in Columbus, Minnesota, six years ago after becoming the last surviving member of his pack.

After noticing that Thunder's quality of life had noticeably decreased, zookeepers decided to euthanized him.

Thunder was 17-years-old, the zoo says, while most gray wolves live to about six to seven years in the wild. "He will be dearly missed," the zoo said in their post.

Menominee Park Zoo adds that while it is sad about Thunder's passing, it is preparing for the arrival of a new pack of wolves, two females and two males, from a zoo in Michigan.

"The exhibit is here for the public to learn about the elusive and intelligent gray wolf – a true icon of the wilderness. Wolves are a natural part of the Wisconsin ecosystem and play an important role in maintaining biological diversity in the region. The wolf population has recovered in the state because of protections. The zoo is looking forward to taking care of these magnificent animals," according to the zoo's post.

Learn more about wolves in Wisconsin

Thunder, Menominee Park Zoo’s oldest gray wolf passes at the remarkable age of 17. Menominee Park Zoo is sad to...

Posted by Menominee Park and Zoo on Thursday, May 14, 2020