Written by our Director, Tsa Palmer, on the 13th November 2021.
It is with great sadness that I have to report that Torak, our beautiful gentle giant ambassador wolf passed away peacefully this week of old age. He had been looking and eating well, but at 15 and a half years was clearly getting elderly. When he didn’t appear at the fence yesterday for his food we searched the enclosure and found him lying comfortably in his favourite wooded area head on paws. He must have felt no pain and slipped away gently, on his own terms, which is a great comfort to us all.
He had a long and fulfilling life here at the Trust and had so many admirers because of his personality and wonderful looks; always moving so elegantly, and behaving in a very 'wolfy' aloof dignified fashion, only seeking out people on his terms. He arrived from the Anglian Wolf Society as a cub of 10 days old in April 2006 and was brought up with Mosi and Mai. He outlived his companion Mosi by 18 months and was self contained in this time but enjoying being given daily treats of cooked chicken and pigs ears by his favourite handlers, and seemed happy enough travelling round his enclosure often seeking out the sun and lying in favoured spots.
Of course Torak became famous at an early age as he was given the name of Michelle Paver's central character 'Torak' in her best selling Chronicles of Ancient Darkness books thereby attracting a large following. Then when he escaped from the Trust in January 2018, after a gate to his pen had been deliberately forced open in the night, he captured the whole country's media in his subsequent travels that day across 8 miles of Berkshire countryside. As you may remember he was happily caught by myself and brought safely back. He had his moment of freedom and was relieved to be back with Mosi. His escapade with a happy ending demonstrated to the media that despite running through a field of sheep and near people he was no threat to animals or humans resulting in good PR for wolves.
He was a wonderful ambassador and truly special wolf: he will be much missed - but we have lovely memories.