A pair of wolf brothers who spent every day of their lives together have been put to sleep side by side.

The two North American Grey Wolves, RJ and Baxter, have spent the last eight years at the Scottish Deer Centre near Cupar in Fife.

They first moved north from West Midland Safari Park with their parents, Half Tail and Luna, in 2012 shortly before their second birthday.

The pack quickly became firm favourites at the centre with both visitors and staff who were often kept entertained by their antics.

RJ and Baxter were put to sleep together

But old-age related conditions had begun to blight the two wolves in recent months including joint and urinary problems.

These were carefully managed by staff at the centre but had recently begun having “serious implications” for their welfare and the heartbreaking decision was made to have them euthanised together.

Paying tribute to RJ and Baxter, the centre said: “In the eight years since, it has been a joy for us to watch their characters shine through and though very different – RJ the cheekier and more assertive; Baxter quieter but extremely bright and inquisitive – they had shared a close bond throughout their lives and had never spent a day apart.

“At almost 10-years-old, the boys had progressed into old age and we had been supporting them to manage age related joint and urinary conditions for some time.

The brothers had lived with their mother and father at the park

“These issues recently reached a level whereby we could no longer continue to manage them with medication without serious implications for their welfare and consequently, the decision was made to euthanise them both together, supported by the advice of our veterinary team, ethical review committee and specialists in wolf husbandry.

“It has been an absolute privilege to have cared for RJ and Baxter over the past eight years and their loss will be felt for some time, particularly amongst our keeper team.

“We hope you have all loved coming to visit them just as much as we have been proud to have them with us."

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The centre have also appealed for any past visitors who may pictures or videos of the wolves to share them on social media in memory of the plucky duo. 

The wolf enclosure at the park will remain empty until further notice and staff have thanked visitors for their understanding at this difficult time.