Renki and his three siblings were born at Wolf Park in 2004. Renki was named after Irenaus ‘Renki’ Eibl-Eibesfeldt, a well-known German ethologist. He was an easy wolf to identify in the pack due to the crooked, black line that runs down his nose.
In the pack, Renki became known for testing boundaries, both with wolves and humans. He rose to be the #2 ranking male, only to be deposed within a year by his younger brothers, Wotan and Wolfgang. Eventually he was removed from the big pack and went to live with his father and sister in the retirement area.
After their father’s passing, Renki and his sister, Ayla continued to live as a somewhat contented pair of wolves. Renki loved food and didn’t love sharing so he and Ayla had long visits together on non-feeding days. Sometimes he also spent time with his other sister, Kailani.
In July 2016, Renki was diagnosed with bone cancer. To halt the spread, his front leg was amputated. Renki recovered from the operation and quickly adjusted to life on three legs. He still loved walks, attention, food and playing with his sisters. He moved back in with Ayla as soon as he was recovered and has been managing life as a ‘tri-pod’ with a cheerful smile.
In December 2017, Renki began having trouble breathing. He was brought inside and treated in hopes of an easy recovery but his condition slowly deteriorated. He had good days in which he enjoyed exploring the Animal Care Center, going for short walks, and visiting with Ayl. As his breathing grew labored and he became unable to stand without assistance, the staff brought him to the vet clinic for more intense diagnosis. The results were not promising and Renki was euthanized.
Renki is remembered as a challenging and cheerful wolf. He led the procession for nearly every Walk for Wolves during his lifetime. He once met and danced with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He loved participating in research, if it involved food. He will be well-remembered.