The community is celebrating Zoo New York’s wolverine’s birthday one last time on Valentine’s Day.
The 16-year-old wolverine, Valentine, died three weeks ago. She shared her birthday with Valentine’s Day.
The zoo is asking that the community send Valentine’s Day cards to honor one of its most popular animals on Tuesday.
Before she died, zoo keepers had noticed that Valentine, or Val, was acting differently and not eating her normal amount of food, so they brought her to the veterinarian’s office for a checkup.
It was discovered that she had inoperable cancer. She was euthanized to avoid a long, painful death, said Larry Sorrel, the zoo’s executive director.
But the zoo wants to make sure the wolverine is remembered for her 14 years at the zoo.
“She was very popular,” Mr. Sorrel said.
In the past, the zoo celebrated Val’s birthday on Valentine’s Day.
People can make Valentine cards on the zoo’s website. Zoo New York also is accepting donations in the wolverine’s name for the zoo’s animal wellness fund.
“We’re saddened by her death,” Mr. Sorrel said.
Val, only one wolverine that had been living in a zoo in the country, came to the zoo when she was two years old in 2008. She was delivered by a plane in Syracuse and was described as having an inquisitive personality.
According to Mr. Sorrel, wolverines have an average lifespan of seven to 12 years in the wild. Val would have turned 17 on Valentine’s Day.
“Unlike many other wolverines, she did take time to figure out her feeding puzzles instead of just ripping them to shreds, said Jen Graham, Val’s lead zoo keeper. “Valentine quickly ate up any meal made with venison.”
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