Detroit Zoo mourns gray wolf, Wazi, who died during surgery

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The Detroit Zoo announced Monday night that the gray wolf, Wazi, died during surgery to remove a mass. Image: Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo is mourning the loss of the 11-year-old gray wolf, Wazi, who died during a surgery to remove a mass on a chest.

The Zoo said Wazi went in for surgery after a mass was discovered during a routine checkup with the veterinary team. A CAT scan showed that, due to the size and location, the mass had to be removed by surgery.

During the surgery, the Zoo said, she suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

"Wazi was intelligent, fearless, curious and sassy and was adored by our staff, volunteers and visitors. She will be missed by all," the Zoo said in a statement.

Wazi was 7 when she arrived at the Zoo with a 5-year-old male, Kaskaphtew, in 2015. They shared the Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness exhibit, a $1.4 million habitat that was completed in 2015.

According to, gray wolves can live up to 16 years in the wild.