We were excited about the arrival of ZooMontana's latest wolf, Simpson, when he came to Billings in late June 2020. If you don't recall the interesting story, the pup was found by a couple near Condon, MT. Attempts by the family and wildlife officials to return the little guy back to his pack were unsuccessful and he found his new home at ZooMontana, joining the zoo's other wolves.

Courtesy ZooMontana
Courtesy ZooMontana

In a press release (2/11), ZooMontana Executive Director Jeff Ewelt announced that the wolf pup needs specialized surgery to correct Congenital Hydrocephalus, sometimes referred to "water on the brain." The condition is caused by a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid which causes intracranial pressure, according to one of the Zoo's lead veterinarians, Dr. Haynes Werner. Zoo keepers initially became concerned when they noticed Simpson appeared to have vision issues and clumsiness, often an indicator of more serious problems. The hydrocephalus was confirmed by a recent CT scan.

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Due to the specialized nature of the complex surgery, Simpson will be heading to Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in March, where a shunt will be placed in the wolf pups skull to alleviate the pressure. The cost for the procedure is quoted around $10,000 and the Zoo estimates they will need another $10,000 to modify his habitat for better quality of life. ZooMontana has set up a donation page for those interested in helping.

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