By Charles Wade-Palmer
A runaway wolf has been shot dead just months after becoming a mum.
Ember the three-year-old Eurasian wolf was killed by Cotswold Wildlife Park after she was believed to have escaped over an electric fence.
Visitors to the park in Oxfordshire have been shocked the wolf who hit headlines last week for becoming a mum was shot after she broke out of her enclosure.
The zoo has revealed she was just yards from reaching a busy yard when they gunned her down.
A Facebook post by Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens on Monday night said: “You may have seen or heard in the news about the devastating death of our beloved Wolf Ember.
“Had there been any way to save her we would, of course, have taken it. Euthanasia is, and always would be, our last resort.
“However, she had somehow escaped her enclosure and had made her way to an area that was beyond the range of a tranquiliser dart, and potentially within reach of a busy road.
“The safety of our visitors, and the public, has to be our priority and our keepers were put in the unenviable position of making a decision that no animal lover should have to make.”
“Our staff have dedicated their lives to caring for animals, and their conservation, and work tirelessly to allow visitors to experience many majestic animals at close quarters.
“We have taken measures to increase our already robust enclosure security checks, to ensure there can be no repeat. We would like to thank all visitors to the park who were with us on Friday for their co-operation.
“We would also like to honour Ember and the pleasure she gave to so many visitors. Her death is felt by all who had the pleasure to know her.
Park goers are furious that escapee Ember who was the first wolf to give birth at Cotswold Wildlife Park in 47 years was killed.
Florence Macdonald commented on Facebook: “It’s not euthanasia it’s murder. Maybe if you didn’t keep non-humans as prisoners they wouldn’t be trying to escape.
“You’re probably the same kind of delightful sub-humans who gawk at the mentally ill for a penny.”
Facebook user Anna-Marie Coster said: “Disgusting. This all comes down to human error once again. There is NO excuse for not using a tranquiliser.”
Clair Mortimer commented: “I was there,the staff done a great job of keeping everyone calm and safe but questions have to be asked how one of these beautiful animals managed to escape,such a shame on the outcome but it must have been an awful decision to make.”
Visitors to the park were told to stay indoors when Ember was found outside the perimeter fence at 11:00am on Friday.
Visitor Penelope Bennett said on Twitter: “Wolf on the loose at the Cotswold Wildlife Park and we are all shut in the walled garden.
The park’s managing director said staff tried to tranquilise the three-year-old Eurasian wolf, but it was out of range.
Earlier this year Ember gave birth to five cubs, the first wolves to be born at the park in its 47-year history.