After a careful analysis of the situation and evaluation, together with the veterinarians, of the risks associated with the animal's condition, Rudi Berti, Director of the Centre, sedated the wolf with the tranquilliser gun. After being shot in the shoulder, the only part of the body besides the head that was standing out of the water, the wolf began swimming towards the river’s centre, where the current was stronger. Without losing sight of the animal the Centre operators began to run along the banks of the river, ready to intervene to recover the wolf, who was gradually losing consciousness under the effect of the sedative.
Founding a gateway of access to the river, Elisa Berti, followed by the other volunteers, jumped into the water and managed to grab him. Despite the considerable difficulties due to the strong current and extremely slippery bottom of the riverbed , the three operators of the Centre brought the wolf to the shore. (Photo by Tommaso Fulgaro).
After securing the animal, veterinarians and operators of the Centre realized that he was in cardiopulmonary arrest and his condition was extremely critical. Without further hesitation Dr.Tovoli and Elisa Berti began with the chest compressions and "mouth to mouth" breathing. After several minutes of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation the wolf resumed regular cardiac respiratory activity for the excitement of all present. He was put on the stretcher and kept under oxygen during the transfer.
Since the rescue site was about an hour's drive from the Centre, the staff asked Mr Maestrini, the citizen that reported the animal to the Provincial Police, to be hosted at his property in order to stabilize the wolf, dry and warm him before the trip. Happy and willing to collaborate Mr. Maestrini made available to the staff a warm environment where the wolf was put in front of the fireplace, along with volunteers that previously jumped into the river, providing them dry clothes as well.
After a few hours, although still in a state of hypothermia, the wolf resumed slowly consciousness bringing a smile to the faces of all present.
The first days were crucial to the conditions of the animal and it was necessary to keep him in intensive care and monitor him day and night. There has been a lot of diagnostic and laboratory investigations that highlighted several problems immediately.
At his arrival at the Centre the animal has been alert and responsive, but in an extreme state of emaciation, dehydration and showed paraparesis of the hindquarters. Moreover he presented an extensive and widespread dermatitis with large bald patches, probably caused by scabies. The initial blood tests showed an infection and a liver disease. The radiography exam showed the presence of about 35 4mm bullets distributed throughout the body and showed no fracture. The animal was shot multiple times (probably exposed to a gunfire) long before, but fortunately this did not cause any major injuries.
Since the various exams had not cleared the cause of paralysis of the hind legs, it was decided to investigate further. With the authorization of the competent authorities, on 12th of January, the Centre staff, accompanied by a veterinary surgeon Dr. Giulio Masiello, transported the wolf at the Veterinary Hospital of San Michele di Tavazzano con Villavesco (Province of Lodi), where Dr. Offer Zeira, the neurologist who has been collaborating with the Centre for years, decided to submit him to magnetic resonance imaging and other exams. (Photo by Andrea Dalpian).
As always, Dr. Zeira and his well-trained staff, dedicated themselves to this incredible animal with professionalism and dedication succeeding to make a precise diagnosis of the pathology of the wolf.
The magnetic resonance imaging shown the presence of a hard spondylitis between the 4th and 5th thoracic vertebra, an inflammatory-infectious form that hit the intervertebral disc and surrounding tissues. This condition resulted in a compression of the spinal cord and caused the paraparesis of the hind limbs.
Dr. Zeira immediately set the therapy and the animal was brought back to the Centre.
The diagnosed disease will require a hospital stay during which it will be crucial the rest of the animal according to a specific treatment protocol. Alongside with it, different practices are used at the Centre, like homotoxicological and homeopathic therapies.
Furthermore, Dr. Christine Castellitto, famous cardiologist from Bologna and for many years collaborator of the Centre made an accurate cardiologic screening of the wolf.
To begin with the delicate stage of recovery, the wolf is treated weekly by Dr. Renato Magliulo with ozone therapy and by Dr. Donatella Zambelli with acupuncture.
A blood sample has been taken to the Genetics laboratory of the Institute for the Protection and Environmental Research (ISPRA) which carries out all the genetic investigations of the case.
The blood tests performed by Dr. Naldi that are repeated frequently in order to monitor the delicate conditions of the animal, are showing a progressive improvement in all parameters.
The full recovery of the wolf Navarre requires a specific rehabilitation program. From the date of his arrival, the management of the animal required an ongoing commitment of 24 hours a day. Although not losing pride and confidence that distinguish his species, Navarre agrees to be treated with patience, and day after day demonstrates a strong temperament and an increasing desire to live. (Photo by Alberto Tovoli and Paul Taranto)
In collaboration with the competent authorities and scientific figures of reference, the Centre has the ambitious aim of bringing Navarre in nature.