SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Zoo officials announced the death of Garcia, a 15-year-old Mexican gray wolf, on Wednesday.

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The wolf died on Tuesday and was described by zoo officials as “unusually brave, curious and playful”. He was known and loved by zoo guests and staff, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“He’s never been one to miss a meal, and he would love to watch his brothers Prince and Bowie’s favorite prizes,” zoo officials said on Twitter.

Never missed a meal, he would watch over his brothers Prince and Bowie’s favorite awards with gusto.

– San Francisco Zoo (@sfzoo) May 5, 2021

Mexican gray wolves typically live up to 13 years in the wild and up to 15 years in captivity, according to zoo officials.

Zoo officials said Garcia “recently experienced a decline in quality of life” and was being treated for undisclosed age-related illnesses, the Chronicle reported.

Mexican gray wolves are a rare subspecies of the gray wolf in North America, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Historically, the animal roamed mountainous areas in central Mexico, southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and southwest Texas.

Garcia and his two brothers Prince and Bowie came to the San Francisco Zoo from Wildlife West Nature Park in New Mexico in 2016, the Chronicle reported.

Tanya Peterson, CEO and Executive Director of the San Francisco Zoological Society, said in a statement that wolves “represent a turning point in the conservation of Mexican gray wolves.”

Garcia “is missing,” said zoo officials.