48ºF

Popular Florida wolfdog that resembles ‘Game of Thrones’ creature dies at 13

Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)
Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)

NAPLES, Fla. – Yuki, a 13-year-old wolfdog that became an internet sensation because of his resemblance to a canine creature on the TV show “Game of Thrones,” has died, according to a Southwest Florida animal sanctuary.

Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education and Experience Center in Collier County tweeted on Thursday that Yuki passed away from blood cancer.

“We have some very sad news to share about our beloved wolfdog, Yuki. He was loved by millions all over the world,” the facility tweeted.

The Naples Daily News reported that the 13-year-old dog did not show for his medicine during morning rounds Thursday. When workers entered his enclosure, they discovered him dead. He was diagnosed three years ago with hemangiosarcoma, a blood cancer.

Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)
Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)

Coverage of Yuki went viral nearly two years ago when Bored Panda, a Lithuanian website, published a story and photo, and the TV show “Inside Edition” also featured Yuki in a segment in April 2019.

At 120 pounds and standing over five feet tall, the giant dog resembled a “direwolf” from the TV show “Game of Thrones.”

A 2018 DNA test confirmed that Yuki was 87.5% gray wolf, 8.6% Siberian husky and 3.9% German shepherd. His previous owner dropped him at an animal shelter when he was eight months old. The shelter called the sanctuary, who cared for him for life.

Wolfdogs are generally considered unadoptable by domestic animal services and have nowhere else to go