The following story came from the operator of Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education and Experience Center, a private non-profit shelter for wolves and other abandoned wild pets in Naples, Florida.
"It is a sad, sad day as I write this. For those of you who do not know her story, I will start with the beginning.
MJ was formerly named "Scout". She was one of 3 wolf pups bred by an "animal trainer" here in FL and sold to another "animal trainer" for use in a 5 minute segment on Animal Planet's "King of the Jungle". The man who bought them for that show had no intention of keeping them and tried to sell them.
When he found no buyers, he called us at Shy Wolf and wanted to put two of the three females into rescue (his wife had "fallen in love with"the third). He would not contribute towards fencing and / or spaying. He could not believe we would want to spay a pure wolf, stating she "ought to be bred, she's a wolf".
There is a lot more to this story, but it is not relevant to the current situation and I will not bore you now.
Because we had no room at Shy Wolf, another rescuer (private individual) went to get the two females. She had two neutered rescued male brothers that she thought she could put the sisters in with as companions. That is what happened. They were vetted and found to be 20lbs underweight and full of hookworms.
Soon, though they became very healthy and were spayed. MJ and Julie were healthy, but Julie was not coming up to the rescuer as MJ was for attention. So, when we lost Wokini at SWS, the decision was made to bring Julie down here as a companion for our Wenatchee. We have a lot of volunteers to work with getting "hands on" her...and she is doing great!
MJ was also doing great with her companion and was happily digging her den. While the rescuer knew the den was large, she did not realize HOW LARGE it had become...because our soil is sandy with no clay and there were no tree roots to support the structure, the den caved in on MJ.
She wasundoubtedly happily resting in her favorite "cool spot" when it collapsed. Her nose was visible, but the weight of the soil had to compress her lungs and chest> making it so she could not breathe. MJ suffocated in her den on 07/08/05, not too far from her companion and just over a year old.
PLEASE, PLEASE take this story to heart, check your own dens and make sure they are either very secure and safe or collapse them in immediately. I know I did with the puppies' den in my run last night. I want no repeats of MJ's sad ending. She was a beautiful animal that was loving and affectionate to everyone once she was healthy and knew she could trust us.
I'm only sorry we could not foresee the danger she was creating for herself. Don't let this happen to another animal (wolf or domestic). Please spread MJ's story far and wide so her death is not without meaning."
We won't include any links in this blog, out of respect for MJ.
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