Shasta joined the Big Pack in the Sky on July 20th, 2019.
She passed at 12 years old due to a rattlesnake bite.
Shasta was an Arctic wolf that was born on May 8, 2007. She was the younger sister of Alice, Thunder, Sabine, Sugar, Storm and Powder, who were rescued a year prior. Shasta was one of the few wolves born right here at Wild Spirit after her parents, Yukon and Sierra (along with another animal named Axel), were surrendered into our care, as their owner no longer wanted to breed them.
Happy to give them a home, we began the process of making arrangements and set off to pick them up. Once loaded into our rescue van, all three animals were taken to the vet to be spayed and neutered, but when the vet looked at Sierra he discovered something very surprising – she was already pregnant! Although the addition of a litter of pups was not an ideal situation, staff elected to let her maintain her pregnancy.
Upon arrival at Wild Spirit, the three new rescues settled in nicely, creating their home in one of our most beautiful habitats, full of trees and rocks. Almost immediately, Sierra and Yukon prepared for their final litter by digging a den in the dirt under a large rock slab. While doing so, they uncovered a fungus called Cryptococcus, which is generally not a huge threat for canines, but for a mother and her young pups, it can be lethal.
Sierra gave birth to five puppies: Teton, Shasta, Flurry, Frost, and Trinity. Unfortunately, Sierra and Trinity were so affected by the Cryptococcus that they ended up passing away due to the infection. Flurry and Frost were fortunate enough to avoid any damage due to minimal exposure to the toxin. Teton, however, experienced some nerve damage in his front leg, but otherwise recovered fully, and Shasta recovered without any issue.
The den was covered–the Cryptococcus treated–and Teton and Shasta split off to form their own pair. They spent their entire lives in the enclosure they were born in, at the heart of Wild Spirit. Shasta passed away peacefully in the only home she had ever known, with her brother, Teton, by her side.
Shasta, much like her brother, Teton, was quite reserved. When Caretakers entered her enclosure, she made a game out of stalking them everywhere they went. If ever caught, she would quickly turn, as if playing innocent. She enjoyed her leisure time, and would often be seen resting on top of her shade structure, watching the ravens and letting them land next to her.
Likes & Dislikes
Shasta liked her brother, Teton, and sharing food with the ravens. She never once tried to harm them, instead, willingly offering a portion of her meal to them.
Shasta was one of very few animals at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary that was raised by her own wolf parents, Sierra and Yukon, instead of by humans. As a result, she was an especially interesting rescue to care for, because she was not socialized as a pup and fully retained her “wolfy” nature.