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Zoo switches up exhibit after wolf lost leg

Friday, March 10, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
by ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporter

Brookfield Zoo is modifying its wolf exhibit after a canine severely injured its leg there last week, officials say.
The male Mexican gray wolf was discovered missing a piece of its left front leg and, after surgery, is trying to adjust to life with three limbs, officials said.
While examining the exhibit for what may have caused the March 1 injury, keepers discovered a hole in the ground near a fence that separates the injured animal from another group of wolves. The animal may have injured its paw on a below-ground barrier fence.
Zoo workers filled the hole and will add below-ground fencing with smaller openings, Tom Meehan, director of veterinary services, said Thursday.
The missing portion of the leg has not been found. Vets X-rayed the injured animal but did not find any sign of the limb inside the creature. It may have been swallowed by one of the other wolves, said Meehan.
The animal is recuperating in the zoo's hospital and has been joined by its two brothers in what Meehan called an effort to "provide companionship and ease his post-surgical transition.''
The zoo had previously said the animal's right leg was injured.
The Regenstein Wolf Woods exhibit opened in June 2004 at a cost of $2.5 million.



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