Bays Mountain Park loses gray wolf

Bays Mountain Park is sad to announce the death of Netar – the elder female member of its wolf pack. Park officials say the 15-year-old gray wolf and former alpha of the pack, died Monday evening in the park’s wolf habitat.

“Netar has been with us for a long time and brought joy to the staff, volunteers and thousands of park visitors. We will miss her greatly,” said Megan Krager, senior naturalist at Bays Mountain Park.

Netar arrived at Bays Mountain Park in 2007 as a pup from Bear Country U.S.A. in South Dakota, along with her sister Aiyana and brothers Tanasi and Adahy. Her name came from the first ever donor to the park’s wolf program – Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors.

“She was a funny pup and always getting in trouble. She was never the one to start the howls, being the quiet member of the pack, even as a youngster,” said Park Naturalist Rhonda Goins. “She will be very missed by our staff, the volunteers as well as the public.”

Since the habitat’s first three grey wolves were introduced to Bays Mountain Park in 1992, wolves have been an integral part of the park’s educational efforts for schools throughout the region as thousands of students and patrons attend wolf programs each year. Visitors often attend the park specifically to see them in a natural woodland setting.

Seven wolves complete the current pack following Netar’s passing. In the wild, wolves live an average of 6-8 years. In captivity, since 1992, Bays Mountain Park has had two wolves live to be 13 years old, and one – Netar – live to be 15 years old.

“Netar served as a superb ambassador for her species and a most excellent representative of Bays Mountain Park,” said John Huron, a volunteer who helps with the wolves. “Fifteen winters spent outside in nothing but a fur coat definitely says something about your character.”