Mill Mountain Zoo saddened after the passing of two animals

Argo, a red wolf, and Eleanor, a bald eagle, passed within the same week, the zoo said

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ROANOKE, Va. – Two animals from the Mill Mountain Zoo have passed away within the same week, and members of the zoo staff are mourning their losses.

On Tuesday, the Mill Mountain Zoo released a statement regarding the passing of two zoo animals, red wolf Argo and bald eagle Eleanor.

Robin Lentz, the Director of Animal Programs, worked with both of the animals and even welcomed Argo to the zoo in 2011.

“Agro arrived in 2011 with her sister wolf, Shy, as part of a recommended transfer from the Red Wolf captive management program with zoos,” said Lentz.

The Mill Mountain Zoo said Argo was always accepting toward her caregivers and possessed a calm and curious nature.

And not only was Argo a good animal to work with, but the zoo said that the wolf also served as an ambassador for species under human care for over 15 years, which they said is long beyond the life expectancy of a red wolf living in the wild.

During the wolf’s stay, the Mill Mountain Zoo said that they monitored Agro daily through Quality of Life assessments because of her age, and in mid-June, Argo came down with a sudden illness that impacted her ability to exhibit normal behaviors.

The release said that treatments, unfortunately, did not help Argo’s condition, so the Zoo veterinarian and staff made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.

“Agro’s presence at MMZ not only helped to inspire those who cared for her daily but - more importantly - she helped to educate a community,” said Lentz.

Not even a week later, the zoo said, they also lost one of their bald eagles, Eleanor, unexpectedly.

The zoo said it was difficult to know Eleanor’s exact age and that they’re waiting on the results of a necropsy to determine the exact cause of death.

“Eleanor arrived at the zoo in 2018 after a fractured wing left her unable to be rehabilitated and returned to the wild,” Lentz said. “She was smaller than her exhibit companion, Elsie, and could frequently be heard vocalizing whenever guests were on the viewing deck.”

Lentz added that Eleanor also served as a beloved educational animal at the zoo.

“Like Agro, Eleanor helped Mill Mountain Zoo educate and inspire visitors daily.  Both animals will be greatly missed,” said Lentz.

About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.