15-year-old Mexican gray wolf dies at San Francisco zoo

SAN FRANCISCO — Officials at the San Francisco Zoo on Wednesday announced the death of Garcia, a 15-year-old Mexican gray wolf.

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The wolf died Tuesday and was described by zoo officials as “uncharacteristically bold, curious and playful,” was well-known and loved by zoo guests and staff, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“He was never one to miss a meal, and would enthusiastically guard favorite food prizes from his brothers Prince and Bowie,” zoo officials said on Twitter.

According to zoo officials, Mexican gray wolves typically live up to 13 years in the wild and up to 15 years in captivity.

Zoo officials said Garcia had “recently experienced a decline in quality of life” and was being treated for undisclosed age-related conditions, the Chronicle reported.

Mexican gray wolves are a rare subspecies of the gray wolf in North America, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Historically, the animal roamed mountainous regions in central Mexico, southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico and southwestern Texas, according to wildlife officials.

Garcia and his two brothers, Prince and Bowie, came to the San Francisco Zoo from the Wildlife West Nature Park in New Mexico in 2016, the Chronicle reported.

Tanya Peterson, the CEO and executive director of San Francisco Zoological Society, said in a statement that the wolves “represented a turning point in the conservation of Mexican gray wolves.”

Garcia “will be missed,” zoo officials said.