APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — A Mexican wolf was shot and killed after it got out of its enclosure at the Minnesota Zoo Wednesday morning.

Minnesota Zoo spokesperson Kelly Lessard said the wolf escaped and got out on to the Northern Trail, venturing over to the bison area. The area was evacuated, the wolf was located and then shot and killed.

No one was hurt in the incident.

Mary Woestehoff, who was visiting the zoo with her 18-month-old daughter Lucy, said she spotted the wolf on the walking path.

“Rounded the corner by the prairie dog village and there was a wolf out running on the path,” she said.

The Mexican wolf is one of three kept in the popular zoo exhibit. Smaller than Minnesota’s gray wolf, the Mexican wolf is about the size of a German shepherd.

Woestehoff said nobody panicked but there was certainly concern.

“Lucy was running ahead so I picked her up and we went to the closest emergency box and called,” she said. “We weren’t quite sure if they believed us at first. The way the responded, they said, ‘Wait, what a wolf?’ Yeah, there’s really a wolf.”

Minutes later she saw zookeepers come running with nets and a rifle. Knowing the wolf had lots of room to run and hide, zoo officials chose the safest option to shoot the wolf and kill it.

“It was a decision call we had to make because he was within the zoo site where we had visitors and we didn’t want him escaping the zoo site after that,” said Tony Fisher, Minnesota Zoo collection manager.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

The zoo property is about 450 acres and even though there is a high perimeter fence surrounding the entire place, there were at least 2,000 visitors on the grounds while that wolf was loose.

“He found a gap in the fence and kinda forced it open, made it wider and got out into a secondary enclosure area,” Fisher said.

Fisher has been caring for animals for 25 years, so the decision to kill one is not made lightly. But he said public safety is always the first priority.

The Minnesota Zoo cares for more than 500 species of animals and some are dangerous, like the wolf. The zoo conducts drills at least twice a year, just in case something like this happens.

Comments (173)
  1. tonja says:


    1. sandy says:

      Tranquilize the animal NOT kill it! These zoo animals are so used to people that the danger level was actually very low. Im totally dishearted by the actions of the zoo officials…its time to rethink your emergency plan. Very poor actions, sad!!!

      1. Genine says:

        And what would you say if in that 10 to 15 minutes it takes for the tranquilizer to take effect it attacked you or your child?? It was very unfortunate but don’t go blaming all the zoo employees who only had your safety as their first priority

        1. elizabeth says:

          Actually, wolf attacks on humans are extremely rare. Wolves are more scared of humans than we are of them.

      2. elizabeth says:

        I agree with sandy. Tranquelizing the animal doesn’t hurt it and it goes down quickly. The thing is: why kill it? If “No one was hurt in the incident” then why does the wolf have to be shot? It’s a disgrace, if you ask me. Next time, think before you actually shoot a wolf. They’re beautiful animals and they don’t deserve to die!

    2. bob says:

      Oh and hey…i was just there visiting two weeks ago…and fyi until they fire the idiot that made the bad call to kill the wolf we wont be back…and i PROMISE to spread the word:) stupid is as stupid does now its time to pay the price. Fix the mistake and make it right!!!

  2. Lukas says:

    I was thinking the same thing. Where’s the tranquilizer gun?!?!?!?

  3. Jackie Du Charme says:

    I agree. Its not like the dnr people are that far away they couldn’t of tranquilized it instead of destroying it. Really stupid people in this world.

  4. Whatever says:

    It’s a WOLF not a person! Tranq guns aren’t as accurate as you think and you have to be close enough to get it. If other animals AND people were threatened – SHOOT the wolf. I am sure they did what they had to do and probably feel bad about it.

    1. Not "whatever" says:

      Yeah, I am sure “they” feel terrible. What kind of gun did you use?

  5. Brad says:

    Put it this way: if the wolf bit a child or severely injured someone you would all say, “well why didn’t they just shoot the darn thing right away!”

    There’s always something to complain about.

    1. huxley says:

      Yeah, your post kind of proves its own point.

      1. Brad says:

        Exactly. I am complaining because everybody seems to complain about everything.

        It was a wild animal on the loose so the zoo took the safe and conservative route and exterminated it. Sad, but let’s get real and move on to bigger issues.

        Thank you for reading my complaint.

        1. Les Johnson says:

          Safe and conservative? LOL

          Who did they protect exactly?

          The park had been evacuated.

          Were they saving the lives of the Bison? Not likely. A single wolf can’t do much damage to a pack of Bison.

          The could have closed the park, triangulated and cornered the animal (no not cornered like within 10 feet in a hallway) and tranq’d it or netted it, or any of the other methods they use to GET animals to the zoo.

  6. Mary Gunn says:

    I can understand if it had already hurt another animal or attacked a human…but it hadn’t…the Tranq gun would have at least put it in LALA land and they could have gotten it into isolation til they figured out HOW it got out…I am disappointed in the zoo keepers in this decision!!!

    1. Whatever says:

      Sooo, wait until it hurts or kills another animal or human, then kill the wolf??? wow! Smart!

      1. Huxley says:

        Anybody know what area of the zoo this clown is posting from?

        1. Whatever says:

          i don’t work at the zoo, however, i would be more than upset if my child or myself were severely injured first before they decided to kill the wolf. “it was a direct threat to others” or do you choose to read what you want?

          1. huxley says:

            I absolutely choose to read what I want. Should I read what you want me to read? That approach doesn’t seem to have served you very well.

          2. Les Johnson says:

            The area was evacuated.

            How, pray tell, would the wolf kill a child in a zoo with no patrons in it?

            I’m curious, so please be specific.

            1. KMC says:

              You keep saying that the park had been evacuated…. You do realize there are several entrances (all outside) to the zoo with hundreds of people coming in and and you have to walk for several minutes to get indoors. Not to mention the people already on the outdoor trails that have even further to go before they could get inside. Make a new point.

              1. Les Johnson says:

                There are several points to be made, so that’s fine.

                The staff located the wolf, evacuated the patrons to buildings and safe areas, the staff cornered the wolf and were faced with the decision to tranquilize it and wait for it to take effect, or shoot and kill it instantly.

                Now if the patrons aren’t near the wolf, why was the decision to kill it instantly made based on there not being enough time? Riddle me that, KMC.

                1. Jenny P says:

                  I think those of you disagreeing with Les have heard Little Red Riding Hood too many times. BTW, Little Red Riding Hood is a FAIRY TALE!

                  “The staff located the wolf, evacuated the patrons to buildings and safe areas, the staff cornered the wolf and were faced with the decision to tranquilize it and wait for it to take effect, or shoot and kill it instantly.

                  Now if the patrons aren’t near the wolf, why was the decision to kill it instantly made based on there not being enough time?” What Les said makes a lot of sense to me. You others don’t know much about wolves and seem to be playing into irrational fears.

      2. To the complainers of the world... says:

        I agree 100% with the Whatever person … all of you freaks are being overly sensitive after reading a story that doesn’t have 100% of the details.

    2. Commet says:

      No they couldn’t have just tranq it because it takes awhile for i to kick in and it could have made the wolf even madder and then it could have potentially hurt someone, which would have not be good.

  7. anon says:

    Such a shame. The Mexican Red Wolf is critically endangered and was brought to the zoo to breed in the hopes of bringing up the wolves numbers. I would like to see a statement as to why they chose to shoot and not tranquilize.

  8. Erv Server says:

    It works both ways, what if the shooter missed and shot a bystander?? witnesses reported the wolf was scared and was shying away fro people. Seems to me killing it was unnecessary. Employees at this zoo need some serious training. Do you really want zoo employees running around shooting bullets???

    1. Whatever says:

      animals to crazy things when they are scared…….doesn’t matter what kind of animal it is. Hopefully the employee was trained, i doubt they let random people shoot at anything. “the area was evacuated”

      1. Clarify please says:

        “animals to crazy things when they are scared” Pardon me, but are you referring to the wolf or the employee that shot it?

        1. Whatever says:

          OBVIOUSLY the wolf – I am happy they were pro-active and we aren’t all complaining that it hurt someone before they did something

          1. Clarify please says:

            What made it obvious?

            1. so annoying says:

              “Clarify please” it was obvious to the rest of us. Go be an activist somewhere else…

              1. Moe says:

                To ALL the people that feel the wolf should have been “protected” by being tranquilized, I have one burning question:

                -Why is it that you place human life on a lower scale/level than animal life?

                It’s a freakin’ wolf for crying out loud!!!!
                The reporter stated there were approximately 2000 people on the zoo grounds when the wolf got loose! There was far too great of a possibility that somebody may have been severely injured or even killed. The reason I say this is because last time I checked, a wolf is considered a WILD ANIMAL. Just by definition of wild – untamed and HIGHLY unpredictable. I don’t give a rat’s backside about the wolf’s history or whether it had been aggressive toward past handlers!!!!

                Come on people, you have to start placing human life above animal life. A wolf’s existence is not on par with a human’s existence – plain & simple. Shoot it right between the eyes to protect the public. Then go get the numbskull handler who didn’t notice the gap in the fencing and fire his ass on the spot!!!!

                1. Les Johnson says:

                  “There was far too great of a possibility that somebody may have been severely injured or even killed.”

                  Based on what? Past events where wolves have killed people in zoos? What are you basing that on exactly? Your own irrational fears and assumptions?

                2. Mel says:

                  I agree with Moe. This wasn’t a family’s pet that got loose at the zoo. Not your cuddly, cute ball of fir, but a wild animal. The zoo has protocols and procedure they have to follow. They don’t freak out and panic, then shoot willy-nilly. Well done Minnesota Zoo. I will continue to bring my children knowing you will make the appropriate decisions in the event of an animal escape.

                3. Les Johnson says:

                  “Why is it that you place human life on a lower scale/level than animal life?”

                  Why do you insist it was a decision between letting a wolf live and letting a human live?

                  That was never the situation, so why do you feel that’s even a legitimate argument?

              2. huxley says:

                Good argument. Activist? You’re angry.

          2. Les Johnson says:

            How could it have hurt anybody, let alone someone?

            The park was evacuated. You read that, right?

            1. Just Helping says:

              I was at the zoo when this happened. The zoo was not evacuated. Staff directed everyone to the nearest building. So people were out of the way, but still inside the park.

              1. Les Johnson says:

                Nearest building = safe from a wolf who is getting as far away from you as possible, regardless of where you hide from it. My goodness.

                It’s a wolf. Not a werewolf, people. You have NOTHING TO FEAR from it.

                1. KMC says:

                  If you had any of your facts straight… The wolf was being held in a separate area be cause it was aggressive, it was on the main path, and the person who reported it to the zoo staff was the mother of an 18 month old child.

                2. Les Johnson says:

                  The mother of an 18 month old child. You say that so emotionally, as if this wolf wanted to eat the 18 month old child like in Little Red Riding Hood. That wasn’t the case here, unless you have evidence otherwise. You say it was aggressive, yet all witnesses say it was getting as far away from every person it saw as it could.

                  So if you had any of YOUR facts straight… I won’t hold my breath.

      2. Jenny P says:

        People do even crazier things when they’re scared, like shoot wolves!

    2. Les Johnson says:

      Shoot a bystander? What?? I don’t think you thought this through very well. So the zoo staff is also unable to clear their park or communicate with the patrons of the zoo? Are you being serious?

      Also, do you think the kid in charge of shoveling the poo out of the chimpanzee enclosure just ran to the zoo gun cabinet, and pulled out a .300 Win Mag and opened fire?

      “witnesses reported the wolf was scared and was shying away fro people.”

      Ya don’t say. Imagine that. Wolves are known for avoiding people. The ones saying it would go on a human-killing spree are mongoloid ignoramuses.

      1. Old Hamburger P says:

        Please. I agree with you, but using the words “mongoloid ignoramus” is unnecessary. It’s hurtful to those of us who have children with Down Syndrome, and to individuals with Down Syndrome themselves.

        1. Les Johnson says:

          I apologize, but trust me when I say that nobody with Downs Syndrome wants or deserves to be associated with these ignorant fools.

          1. Maya says:

            Les you are disrespectful to people and animals.

  9. GSheep says:

    I know, they’re a zoo, you would think they would have the necessary tools on hand to safely recapture the wolf. After all, they have some responsability to keep the animals there safe, don’t they?

    1. Endangered species shot at zoo says:

      Absolutely, second only to profits.

    2. JC says:

      They had and used the necessary tools didn’t you read the story.

  10. Pioneerpress censors chat says:

    WOW. Way to go you buffoons. Huge failure on the Zoo’s part. Tragic. From
    Once extirpated from the southwestern United States, 34 Mexican Wolves returned to southeastern Arizona following a reintroduction program begun in March, 1998. There are only about 200 Mexican wolves in captivity. The goal of the reintroduction program was to restore at least 100 wolves to the wild by 2008; unfortunately, at the end of 2008 there were only approximately 50.

  11. louisfreehdomfries says:

    Hey my friend, your ignorance is showing. Please tuck that in. LOL.

  12. Matthew Wakefield says:

    My wife and son were there – I’m glad they did what they did. I can’t believe people’s first reaction is concern for the wolf and not the safety of the zoo patrons.

      1. Whatever says:

        Not agreeing to “its relative”, but to “Mattew Wakefield”

        1. Huxley says:

          Now you’re just clogging up the chat.

    1. scott says:

      I loved your comment. There is still some funny people out there. Sad for the animal 😦

    2. Les Johnson says:

      Oh yeah, real danger from a loose wolf who’s scared of humans and trying to get as far away from the stinky humans as possible, including your wife and kid.

      See many wolves mauling humans? I didn’t think so. Your wife and son were in far more danger from the humans with firearms than they were from a wolf who wanted nothing to do with your family.

    3. Al Anon says:

      Resorting to personal attacks and name calling? Very nice.

    4. Navin J says:

      A Jerk? 1. The lord loves a working man 2. Don’t trust whitey, and 3. See a doctor and get rid of it.

      1. MNMommyJosie says:

        Thank you! Best movie ever! I just spit wine all over my computer screen!

    5. Moe says:

      THANK YOU MATTHEW!!!!!!!


      On another note:

      “It’s close to mid-night, something evil’s lurking in the dark. Under the moon-light, you see a sight that almost stops your heart. You try to scre – am, but terror takes the sound before you make it. You start to fre-eze, as horror looks you right between the eyes. You’re para-lyzed!!!!”

      Sorry, but I miss old MJ!!!!!

    1. Huxley says:

      Kev you got a little bit of chew spit dribbling out of the corner of your mouth.

      1. Realist04 says:

        Huxley, go cut your hair you Hippie! yeah, I posted this to show how arrogant your comment is.

        1. Huxley says:

          My hair is short, thank you but I did do a lot of psychedelics in college. Ever read the Doors of Perception? It may be a little beyond your abilities but you should at least check it out. Good, rational, civil argument you’ve made. By calling me a hippy you are showing my arrogance? Too funny.

          1. Les Johnson says:

            I used to have a friend with an Iguana named Huxley after his favorite author, Aldous Huxley. It’s a Brave New World, isn’t it…

  13. Jim says:

    Maybe they should auction off the privilege to shoot animals in the zoo. I for one would like a Mexican wolf in my living room. On the other hand I don’t know why they shot it, the Mexican wolf is an animal of peace.

  14. Michele says:

    Very sad indeed, considering the legal ramifications to the zoo had the wolf attacked anyone (I’m sure the wolf was probably just as afraid) we probably wouldn’t have a Zoo anymore. I hope the Zoo learns from this and does a internal investigation and brings in some experts to look at all of their enclosures to make sure they are secure.

  15. El loco lobos mi amigo says:

    Another sad tale of a Mexican being exploited by wealthy Americanos. Poor baby was just going to get himself some bison for lunch. Shame, shame, shame.

  16. Big Bill says:

    The area was evacuated of zoo patrons right? They don’t have an emergency procedure to possibly “round up” this animal into a horse trailer or anything of that sort? It was scared, not hungry it feeds everyday. In the wild they may only feed once a week. Corner it, net it, tranq it, put it back in the pen, fire the careless employee that left the door unlatched, and call it a day. Nobody hurt, nobody or none of the animals killed. “Welcome to the Rock.” Anything trying to escape will be shot on sight.

    1. Les Johnson says:

      Spot on comments, Big Bill. I concur.

    2. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

      Big Bill
      Again, the people that work with these animals every day have a relationship with the animals and if they could have safely got the wolf back into a cage you think they wouldn’t? I am guaranteeing you that some of the staff went home crying because this happened and they lost a friend at work. You think that people become staff at the zoo in hopes that some day they can go on a hunting safari in MN? What idiots you are. I bet they all go home from work and beat their dogs too. You may want to look into that.
      I bet the people that work at the zoo said to themselves, I want a job that pays crap and has long hours, makes me smell like crap all the time, and I would like to work with something that I just want to kill. I got it, I’ll work at the zoo. Delusional and just plain pathetic that people would always think that everyone is black hearted in this world except for themselves. You call me “Almighty intelligent one” and again I ask, so you know more than the experts in this matter huh?

    3. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

      Big Bill
      You are so right. People work at the zoo because of the extremely high pay and the thought that 1 day they may get to go on a Safari and kill all the animals. That makes perfect sense to me and now I am going to apply. Thank you for knowing more than all the people who were actually there and knew what was going on. The guy that is calling me “Almighty intelligent one” is the one that knows more about this than the experts yet was not there and has nothing to go on except 500 word story (did not count the words, just a estimate).

      1. Les Johnson says:


        Big Bill never said that. You sir, are an idiot.

        1. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

          Les Johnson
          Way to make it apparent that you have no concept of sarcasm. Might want to look into it as this is what is more than clear that is what I was using. Maybe you would like to get a little bit more educated before you start calling others an idiot. I cannot even begin to understand how you took what I said as if I was quoting him. I guess I have to start questioning my own comment, maybe stupidity is contagious as it seems you have caught the bug. Just as a pointer, if someone is going to quote another person there is usually the use of “”.

          1. Big Bill says:

            Look at all the stupidity!!! has short man syndrom of the brain.

          2. Les Johnson says:

            I caught your sarcasm, chief. But your obviously overblown version of it should have been at least loosely based on what the person actually said, whereas your sarcastic post did not contain that, thus my comment. I hardly think it’s worth calling me “stupid” and “uneducated” and “an idiot” over.

  17. Big Bill says:

    They didn’t shoot it to get it into the zoo did they? There must be a procedure that brings the animals safely to the zoo right? Almighty intelligent one.

    1. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

      Big Bill
      No they didn’t shoot it to get it into the zoo as the vast majority of the animals at any zoo in the USA were born in a zoo or at a private breeders. This is a fact and if you did not know that then maybe you should not be spouting off as much as you are. Stupidity is not contagious but it does seem to spread like wild fire. It is better to be thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Think about it for a few moments, that is if you can stop crying for a little while.

      1. Les Johnson says:

        “vast majority of the animals at any zoo in the USA were born in a zoo or at a private breeders.”



        Seriously, who whispers such BS into your ear and convinces you to look so foolish online? Whoever it is is laughing their AppleSS off at you right now, bud.

        1. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

          Les Johnson
          I would debate this with you but I am sick and tired of holding people’s hands and walking them through how to find information on the internet. If you cannot do a search on this and find how many private breeders and how many zoos have breeding programs and then ship the animals to each other than you are lost. Can’t argue with stupid and that is what I was attempting. Well I learned my lesson, do not bring a logical idea in the mix with die hard PETA people. Facts and realities are lost on people that make up their own.

          1. Les Johnson says:

            And yet, no evidence that any of the garbage you stated is true. How shocking… I’m sure this wolf was bred in a trailer park in Savage. You mindless ape.

  18. Pete says:

    Tonja, if you were at the Zoo and some how the wolf took a chunk out of you, wouldn’t you be asking, why didn’t they shoot it?

    1. Les Johnson says:

      Because wolves are known to maul humans, Pete? Is that what you’re claiming?

    2. Patrick says:

      If I went to the zoo and a wolf got out and bit me the last thing I would ask is why didn’t someone shoot it. I would accept the fact that I chose to go to a place where humans attempt to cage wild animals for display. Zoos are a joke. Nobody should ever patronize a place like that. I hope a whole host of people lose their jobs over this.

  19. Al says:

    “Rednecks in MInnesota with guns”? Seriously lady? It is a zoo, of course they have guns on premises. I don’t agree with the fact that someone shot it, it seems a tranquilizer would’ve done the trick BUT I’m not going to be belligerent and so quick to judge the situation like you either. Along with the fact that we don’t know how it escaped, we (the people reading the story) also don’t know any background … like was this wolf aggressive and troublesome in the past, etc. Wait until you get all the facts before you become all confrontational about it.

  20. Kent says:

    Whenever an animal is out of it’s natural setting, the protocol is to shoot it first, then try to come up with the most condescending answer to why it was shot.
    Check the records. They absolutely take the animals well being second to the chance to bag it with rifle. Its just how things are done.
    Too bad.

  21. realist04 says:

    nicely said

  22. Melinda says:

    I AGREE. How horrible that this beautiful creature was destroyed!

    1. Jake says:

      How do we know it was actually a wolf and not just Michael J. Fox in his “wolflike” state? After the full moon is over, if the carcass turns back into the body of a teenage boy, somebody is gonna have some explaining to do.

      1. Les Johnson says:

        Ok that was funny.

        1. Moe says:

          I’m with you Les on that one!!!
          Freakin’ Hilarious!!!!
          Great job JAKE!!!!!

  23. Jon says:

    But if the area was evacuated and THEN the wolf was located, was it really a threat to anyone at that point? Tranq seems like the logical choice here.

  24. Bother Wolf says:

    The zoo should be closed down due to incompetence.

    1. born free says:

      Along with ethical reasons.

  25. Johnny says:

    It’s called liability you morons. The Zoo is responsibel for any damages a loose animal may do and are at great risk of lawsuits. You can’t just “round up” a wild animal on the loose. If they did not shoot the animal and it bit someone they would have likely been sued for millions of dollars, maybe billions if it was one of you sue happy liberals. That is probably upset because you missed a great oppurtunity. Loosers.

    1. Les Johnson says:

      Pretty tough to bite someone when nobody was around. I’m just sayin…

      “loosers” is not a word.

    2. Bother Wolf says:

      There is a Johnny in every group. I guess like a good Democrat, if you don’t understand it, shoot it.

    3. Les Johnson says:

      “You can’t just “round up” a wild animal on the loose.”

      Amazing that zoos even exist then, isn’t it? LOL

  26. Jake says:

    I saw in the police report that the guy who killed the wolf claims the wolf was reaching for a gun.

    1. Les Johnson says:

      I like your comments, Jake. I’m waiting for the juvenile who feels small to steal your name and post as you, as he did to me…

  27. Rigby says:

    Wow. Someone really dropped the ball on this one, and that’s just unfortunate. And different zoo, I know, but here’s an example of how to do it right. Remember when Casey the Gorilla escaped his pen a few years ago at Como? A 400-pound, unpredictable gorilla was roaming around the zoo. They evacuated the place, then tranquilized him, and he’s still alive and happy today, to my knowledge.

  28. Patrick says:

    So you can’t even maintain an enclosure and then when the animal decides to walk through the hole in the fence you decide to shoot it. Nice going Zoo. I will never….repeat….NEVER visit your cynical overpriced enterprise again. I will also encourage all friends and family to do the same. FAIL!!!!!

    1. Goodbye Zoo says:

      I’m not a friend or family of yours )that I know of) but I hope you don’t mind if I join you in your boycott. Disgusting. This is criminal negligence involving an endangered species.

      1. Patrick says:

        Yes, by all means join the boycott. I also don’t think we are related I don’t know anybody by the name of “Goodbye Zoo” 🙂

  29. Gloria says:

    It always seems that here in MN, the people in charge, including the D.N.R. choose to kill an animal before all other options prove impossible! I am so tired of the poor animals bearing the brunt of “stupid” people! No one was in danger since the area had been evacuated, and some witnesses were reporting that the wolf seemed afraid of people. If someone can take aim and successfully kill, why wouldn’t they be just as successful in tranquilizing it.

    I may sound like a radical, but remember the black bear whose head was stuck in a can a couple of years ago? They killed him too, and certainly since the poor creature’s head was completely in a can, he couldn’t have posed too much of a risk; I don’t think he was near a highway or in too much of a residential setting.

    Anyway, I hope we find out how this wolf escaped (probably human error).

  30. JT says:

    I agree that KILLING the wolf was probably a bit much but apparently no one here realizes that the tranq darts take TIME to work…its not just shoot and the animals drops into a coma seconds later. And AFTER being darted the animal is likely to run. I wasn’t there tho so I won’t be judging the zoo for what they did.

    It is sad to lose an animal from a place designed to protect them and foster rehabilitation. It would be just as sad to see a visitor or another animal injured too. Sometimes there is no good outcome to a situation however.

  31. duh says:

    No one would be complaining if it were their child on a field trip today in the area the wolf was on the loose. It was a danger to the public. Shoot the damn thing and prevent kids/people from getting hurt or hope that you can get close enough to use a tranquilizer on it.

    1. Les Johnson says:


      You completely mindless buffoon.

      Nobody was there. Please learn to read. Evacuated is actually an English word meaning NOBODY IS THERE, DUMMY!

      1. Why all the hate for nothing? says:

        Les Johnson
        So you must have been on the front line of this as you know that “NOBODY IS THERE” or were you going by 1 line of a very small story and taking it as you have all the facts? I do not need your answer as I would already know that you have to know everything that happened. So please do us all a favor and tell us what happened on a minute by minute basis. Let us know where everyone in the zoo was and what they were doing as this happened. Stop keeping all the info for yourself as inquiring minds would like to know. If you cannot do this than maybe you should save your insults as any adult knows that to resort to this means that you have no other talking points and are getting frustrated. Just lashing out at people does not change their perspective and only shows the low intelligence level of yourself as you cannot engage in a conversation with other opinions without wanting to cry. The lack of your information that you share on your posts also shows that you are going to continue to just call names and not back up where you are getting your all knowing information from. It is done, the wolf is dead. Like it or not, no matter how many insults you throw, it is dead.

        1. Les Johnson says:

          “It is done, the wolf is dead. Like it or not, no matter how many insults you throw, it is dead.”

          What?? Are you sure?? LOL

          I supplied the information, and technically I supplied it second hand from the news and from this article, just as you could have done if you held any valuable critical thinking skills.

      2. MNMommyJosie says:

        There was a bomb threat at my high school back in the day and the school was evacuated, too…. except for me, in a band practice room with no speaker system, totally forgotten. So evacuated is only as good as the process and hoping that no one is “hidden” anywhere.

        1. Les Johnson says:

          And just like there was no bomb in your school, there was no immediate danger from a wolf that was running away from everybody.

  32. Julie Sutter says:

    I was there with my son, friend and her son on the trail system. They calmly directed us to evacuate towards the main buliding where we had to stay until the situation was resolved. They closed the large gates to the trails so the wolf was secured. It is disappointing that they had to kill it. A female staffer told me it was staying away from people and that it was darted by the bison area. Guess not. We never felt unsafe and the staff did a good job from preventing mass chaos. Sad ending though.

  33. Southern MN Mom says:

    With so many poor in Minnesota, did anyone think of taking the wolf and getting it processed for a food shelf? We should start using deceased pets and picking up animals hit by cars too! People are in need of help!

    1. Les Johnson says:

      @Southern MN Mom

      I have to assume your comment was in jest, and completely sarcastic.

  34. B says:

    I am VERY disappointed in the zoo staff in making the decision to shoot and kill one of our Mexican Wolves! Tranquilizing him would have been a much better option…..and yes if they truly knew what they were doing they would have been able to do this successfully. There were also other options other than death that they could have done to safely recapture him. Once the enclosure was repaired he could have been placed back in with his den mates. Zoo staff reacted very hastily! The wolf did NOT need to die!!!! After reading several different articles about this story….. It is evident that no one was in immediate danger because they had executed an evacuation prior to locating and shooting him. Nice going!!

    Also, to the people who are posting comments about what would have happened if the wolf would have taken a bite out of or killed someone…….I suggest you do some reading to help educate yourselves and gain some knowledge about wolves, their nature and the likeliness that this would have ever happened! You’re wearing your ignorance on your sleeves!!

  35. KMC says:

    I was at the zoo today when this happened and they first called in the team with tranquilizer guns. The proximity to shot the wolf was too far and it takes about ten minutes to kick in. Since the wolf was very close to patrons they had to do what was necessary. This was not just a split decision. When a wolf gets cornered or feels threatened they WILL defend themselves… Which includes attacking a person. So, this was not a “redneck” as you so refer to them. It was a trained professional that would be dealing with your ranting if a child would have gotten hurt or killed.

    1. Superchik1017 says:

      For some reason, I just don’t see a parent directing their child to corner a wolf in an attempt to capture it….nope…just don’t see it. You’d think that they would track the wolf and wait until the tranquilizer starts working. I doubt it would have found and killed a child during that ten minute window.

      1. KMC says:

        You have no idea how that wolf would have reacted. I really don’t recall saying anything about having a parent tell their child to corner a wolf. And I sure didn’t even imply that the wolf would have stalked and killed a child… You sure have an imagination My word of choice was IF. By the way, this specific wolf was being held in a separate area because it was aggressive. So based on the knowledge that people who work with animals usually go into a job working with animals is because they care about their well being, I tend to think this was not a decision made lightly and it was not the outcome that anyone wanted.

        1. SPD says:

          So it was too far too shoot it but it was endangering other people. Sorry, don’t buy it. The wolf can’t hurt anyone, if NOBODY is around. Move the people away and capture it. They must be good at that or the wolf wouldn’t be in a zoo in the first place. And don’t tell me it was born there, so don’t come back with that response.

        2. Jenny P says:

          He was housed in another area because he had recently lost his mate and they had brought wolves in from another zoo that experienced flooding. He was not accepting the other wolves and was said to be acting aggressive toward them. Acting “aggressive” toward other wolves entering his territory is not the same as being dangerous to people.

  36. T says:

    Killing an endangered species is absolutely ridiculous. Zoos should be prepared for escapes to happen and handle them appropriately. Shooting an animal that is known to be afraid of humans and aviod human interaction at all costs is NOT the correct way to handle an escape. What difference should it make if the tranquilizer takes 10 minutes to work or not? Clear the area of people and wait for it to work…doesn’t seem like rocket science to me. I thought zoos were to teach us about preserving and protecting animals, not killing them. Minnesota Zoo, I’m extremely disappointed with the way this situation was handled.

  37. kim says:

    Tonia and R~ I agree with you are not having to shoot and kill the wolf come on what about tranquilizing it first. As a Zoo Member I am upset and sadden on how you handeled the situation. I seems latley around here in Mn that if an animal for instance is somewhere were it is not suppose to be they shoot it right away latley. Like not long ago that bear that was in a tree why not just tranqulize them and bring it back up north somewhere instead of shooting it HELLO! Not sure if I want to get another membership there in future because how you handeled this situation and I am a animal lover.

    1. treehousemom says:

      Well said !

  38. T says:

    Minnesota Zoo, you should be ashamed! I’m extremely disappointed in the way this situation was handled. Your spokesperson just said “no one felt threatened by the wolf” yet, it was still shot and KILLED. Mexican wolves are a rare species and yet you kill one who is posing no threat to the public because you weren’t patient enough to wait for the tranquilizer to work or prepared for something like this to happen? I thought zoos were supposed to protect animals and teach the public to protect our environment and the animals that share the planet with us? How is killing a rare species protecting the animals?

  39. tom says:

    another illegal mexican gone

  40. Nolan Grace says:

    Why did they have to shoot it??? This is one major reason why I HATE zoos. They do alot of good things for endangered animals, but some things they do are just plain stupid! It was God’s creature. He created it too live freely, not to be put in a zoo and then shot… I get that they wanted the visitors to be safe, but if they evacuated the area, what was the point in killing the beautiful creature??

  41. Kim says:

    I Agree with Tonia and B and T !

  42. Danni says:

    Tragic, people really need to be shot. Let’s just make another extinct animal, who really cares? Not the eco system or anything.

  43. disappointed says:

    These wolves are pretty much extinct in the wild and the zoo thought it was best to shoot it?! Shame on you MN Zoo. Shame.

  44. Jackie Du Charme says:

    Read One Still Left. About the Mexican wolf and interference from people.Quite interesting.

  45. MIchelle says:

    the odds that wolf would have attacked anything is small, too used to people, been caged too long….overreaction, it would have probably came up to you if ya had a treat for him.

  46. tuna-free dolphin says:

    You should be shot lady. For being stupid. A wolf running around in a public area with little kids as possible prey. Are you mental? Tranquillizer my eye. Kill it and get another one. Zero tears shed by me. Good call.

    1. Les Johnson says:

      “A wolf running around in a public area with little kids as possible prey.”

      Please show me anytime in history that a zoo wolf has attacked a little kid as prey. I’ll need dates and locations. (hint: You won’t find ANY)


    2. Les Johnson says:

      You have not demonstrated that any little kids were “possible prey.”

      1. Jenny P says:

        Exactly Les. The LAST thing this wolf probably wanted was an encounter with somebody’s kid. This whole situation is really sad. People’s lack of understanding of it and panic about protecting their children is even sadder.

  47. donna says:

    i’m with you. they say the area was evacuated. so it wasn’t a threat to anybody. so why wasn’t a tranquilizer used? while they were evacuating the area, some zoo personnel could have stood guard, in case it threatened to attack any one. so what if it takes 10 minutes for the tranquilizer to work. i’d trust the wolf better than some of the people. i grew up in the country and have never been attacked or threatened by any wild animals. can’t say the same when it comes to some of the city people. i feel sorry for the poor wolf dying for the zoo’s fault of not keeping its enclosure in a secure state. i hate it when they kill wild animals because they wandered into a neighborhood. use a tranq and haul them back to the wilderness. the people should worry about their so called neighbors. a lot of them are thieves, rapists and murderers. wild animals act more civilized than those neighbors. besides it was the animal’s territory before it was theirs(the people’s) in the first place.

    1. treehousemom says:

      We aren’t out there shooting every prisoner that escapes, but we shoot wolves in a zoo? Shoot the damn criminals then !! Save us tax dollars and leave the poor wolves alone. If people go to a zoo, then they assume the risk that anything can happen and if it does so be it ! Chance you take. Can’t blame anyone except yourself.

  48. Wow says:

    The most disgusting thing in this situation is the way you all are responsing. Everyone has their right to their opinion and the right to express it. But dear God stop all the bickering you’re embarrassing yourselves.

    1. treehousemom says:

      That is right we do and so do you have the right to not read if it bothers you. Are you a patriot or pinhead?

  49. pat says:

    Enough with zoos already

  50. Sarah says:

    I was at the zoo with my class of second graders this morning. A tranquilizer gun takes at least 15 minutes to take effect. Had your child been at the zoo, would you have wanted to take that chance of 15 minutes with a wild animal?? They made a smart decision. Yes, the wolf may not have attacked anyone- but what if it had?? The zoo would have had a HUGE lawsuit on there hands. No brainer in my opinion. Public safety first.

    1. treehousehousemom says:

      Well they could have had the gun handy if the tranqualized animal acted aggressively and then shot it. Duh, no, if my kids were there, we would have gone to a further location until the coast was clear. I would not have even alerted my kids to the fact something was goin on unless they noticed. What is wrong with people hyping things up all the time. What are ya gonna do when a deer loaded with ticks comes walkin by? Scream and then hope someone shoots it. so you don’t catch lymes disease LOL People are such wimps these days.

      1. Sarah says:

        You can run as fast as a wolf I take it? Once it was tranquilized- it could have bolted. So run after it with a regular gun just in case? That makes sense. How do you know which way the wolf is traveling??? It is heavilly wooded. They cannot secure the outside portion of the zoo. There were over 2000 people there this morning that were ALL OVER THE place….if you are in the middle of the N. Trail it takes AT LEAST 5 minutes to find shelter. Also? if your kids SEE a wolf roaming free how do you intend to “unalert” them?

        1. Sara simple says:

          “They cannot secure the outside portion of the zoo.”

          Seems they can’t secure the inside very well either. Criminal negligence.

        2. Les Johnson says:

          “You can run as fast as a wolf I take it? Once it was tranquilized- it could have bolted.”

          Meaning what?

          It’s going to get hit with a tranquilizer dart and immediately try to find a kid to eat before the 10 minutes is up?

          Where does this mindless, baseless paranoia come from??

    2. Les Johnson says:

      “A tranquilizer gun takes at least 15 minutes to take effect. Had your child been at the zoo, would you have wanted to take that chance of 15 minutes with a wild animal??”

      15 minutes with a wild animal? What were you doing, running after it for pictures? Weren’t you instructed to get in a building? (Not like it mattered, since the wolf was avoiding humans AT ALL COSTS.) Minor detail there.

  51. Big Bill says:

    Why didn’t sombody shoot the horse on I-35 today? Wolf, okay…pow!

    1. treehousemom says:

      Sounds like a riddle. My answer is cause the wolf was on the other side. POW

  52. Treehousemom says:

    WHY wasn’t the animal shot with a tranqualizer gun and returned to it’s habitat area. It seems to me that if they could shoot a wild animal roaming like wild animals do in a ZOO around visitors is much more damning and tramatic to the kids who were there watching. It was clearly the wrong decision and if that is the zoo’s first emergency approach I think someone should be fired. It did not seem as if any of the Zoo visitors were in a threatening situation and the zoo could have tranqualized the animal safely. The animal was just taking a joy ride around the grounds on a sunny day. Wouldn’t you too if you were caged all the time and had the opportunity to get out? Instead, they just kill it like it was no big deal. They will just buy a new one. Is that the right attitude? I will not support the MN ZOO in the future . The zoo is just teaching our kids animals are disposable and posable pets which can be replaced when need be. Kinda like old barbie dolls and matchbox cars. No big deal! NOT

  53. little red riding hood says:

    Who cares about an endangered wolf? Not me. Just clone the thing. All these hippy types whp probably live in a huge city and the only animal they see are homeless people.(who they would probably shoot)

  54. Erv Server says:

    The zoo is negligent for not inspecting the enclosures, if a wolf can get out there were no procedures in place for inspection nor backup enclosure as a safe guard. Zoos are to protect animals too.. not just the people who visit

  55. Armchair wildlife experts unite! says:

    Just because you watch Animal Planet doesn’t make you a wildlife expert! I am ok with the actions that zoo employees took. They are wildlife experts and have trained for this kind of event. Of course, there are always people who think that an animal’s welfare is more important than a human’s!

    1. Calling in the wolf? says:

      YEs in fact the survival of a species is more important than the POSSIBILITY that it MIGHT have bolted after the tranquilizer and possibly mauled someone’s little precious. I’ve seen the estimated time for the tranq. go from 5-8 minutes yesterday to up to 20 today. They are spinning it so fast I’m getting dizzy.

    2. Charlene says:

      This animal did not ask to be there, The human put it there and should do all that it can to protect it. As near as I can tell the animal never showed any sign of being aggressive, so yes I believe the zoo was wrong, and people like you make it even harder to protect these animals.

      1. Armchair wildlife experts unite! says:

        The zoo also has an obligation to keep their patrons and employees safe. It’s pretty simple. A human life trumps and animal life. You may not like it, but that’s the way it is.

        1. Citizen of Minnesota says:

          And long after the last wolf species is gone, humans will have been long gone. Is life worth living when the earth is a human feedlot? There are 7 billion human beings on Planet Earth–soon to be 9 billion. Very few wolves. And no passenger pigeons. This wolf should have been saved. But, being dead is probably preferable to interminable imprisonment in the Minnesota Zoo staffed by such incompetents who couldn’t keep a cage secure or deal with an escape.

          1. Tired of these fruitcakes says:

            Well, no one is making you stay around if you’re so worried you are taking up needed space…..

        2. Charlene says:

          Sorry but I don’t agree. Animals are just as important as a human and human are by no means close to extinction. Besides, this animal was not threatening anyone.

        3. Get real says:

          Are you all kidding me, the only reason the shot this animal was to avoid any lawsuits.

    3. Unbelievable says:

      At this point in time it is and because we are human and some of us know how to use our brains, there are better ways of doing things than killing, murdering and maiming. We have just come so far as a species now haven’t we? I rather deal with four-legged creatures any day than to deal with destructive, moraless human animals. Let’s not forget that when GOD flooded the world he only saved on man and his family and told him to save two of each of his animals, so that is not saying much for the human race as far as GOD is concerned.

  56. Megan says:

    In over 25 plus years of working with Wolves (both captive and wild) I have never heard (nor seen) of a Mexican Wolf attacking any humans. In fact, about 12 yrs ago, I had a 3 yr old Mexican Wolf live in my home, after finding it with a broken leg in the desert. After receiving vet care, I brought this WILD animal into my home, with my husband, 14month old son, and my 6 yr old American Staffordshire Terrier (a pitbull). This Wolf stayed in my home for a few months, bonded with my son, and my dog, and myself. Not once was there ever any growling, snarling or biting. Not even a scratch on anyone. We later tagged, and released this wolf back into the wild, where she survived for 4 more years. (and provided us with excellent data)

    Based on my experiences over the years, I would absolutely say a tranquilizer gun could have worked here, providing the situation was properly assessed and executed. It seems to me, this was an act out of panic.



    1. Les Johnson says:


      Thanks for posting, and thanks for sharing your experiences.

      All the people moaning about how “what if it killed your kid” are completely inventing that fear, since there is no valid reason for it.

  57. Charlene says:

    You call yourself a zoo – what a joke. You don’t deserve to have any animals, you should be closed down. Did anyone even think about using tranquilizers?

  58. jlb123 says:

    Agreed! Traq darts, dummies! Mexican wolves are so rare they are almost extinct in the wild. And now you’re killing a healthy male for no reason other than the old “Big Bad Wolf” myth? Stupid, stupid, stiupid.

  59. Unbelievable says:

    They couldn’t come up with a better plan. They had to shoot and kill it? This is our mentality and it really is disgusting. Wolves are being slaughtered all over our country now that they have no federal protection and a zoo no less, had to shoot it? Shame on them! Humanity’s mentality is really something that needs to be questioned. We are so far out of touch with nature and GOD’s creatures it’s pathetic!

  60. Ash says:

    Okay wake up people a wolf was running free in a zoo. Of course they would shoot it. IT’S A WILD ANIMAL!!! If a child or someone was attacked you would have asked “why didn’t they shoot it?” Seariously. P.E.T.A activists you need to get a life!

  61. Jenny P says:

    Exactly Les. The LAST thing this wolf probably wanted was an encounter with somebody’s kid. This whole situation is really sad. People’s lack of understanding of it and panic about protecting their children is even sadder.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE