HOWL Colorado

Mexican Grays arrive safely at Wolf Haven International

[large thumbnail url=”mexican-grays-arrive-safely-at-wolf-haven-international” filename=”science” year=”2010″ month=”11″ day=”03″] [thumbnail icon url=”mexican-grays-arrive-safely-at-wolf-haven-international” filename=”science” year=”2010″ month=”11″ day=”03″] Two Mexican Gray wolves arrived at the Wolf Haven International wolf sanctuary, further improving the chances of success with their captive breeding program.

Tenino, WA – Two female Mexican gray wolves, one of the most endangered animals in the world, will arrive at Wolf Haven International on Monday, November 1, 2010. An eight year old female from the El Paso Zoo in Texas, and a five year old from Wild West Nature Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico are scheduled to depart from the municipal airport in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico at 9:30 a.m. They will arrive at the Chehalis-Centralia airport approximately three hours later, (12:30 p.m.) where they will be met by Wolf Haven staff Tami Williams, Interim Executive Director, and Animal Curator Wendy Spencer. The wolves will be transported by LightHawk, the largest and oldest volunteer-based, environmental aviation organization in North America.

One of the Mexican wolves arriving at Wolf Haven will be bred with one of the sanctuary’s resident Mexican gray wolves in the spring, with the hope of producing pups in 2011. Over the past 16 years, Wolf Haven International has produced five litters of Mexican gray pups and released two packs (11 wolves) into the wild. In fact, some of the first Mexican wolves released back into the wild after a 30-year absence came from Wolf Haven International.

These rare wolves are managed under the federally managed Species Survival Plan (SSP) to restore the Mexican gray wolf, which had been completely eradicated from the United States. There are currently 24 radio-collared free-ranging Mexican gray wolves in the U.S. and 238 in captive facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. Wolf Haven International has participated in this program since 1994 and is one of only three pre-release facilities in the United States. Mexican wolves from captive SSP facilities are first sent to a pre-release facility to undergo an acclimation process and be evaluated for future release suitability.

One day after their arrival, Wolf Haven will present a three day Wildlife Handling and Chemical Immobilization course, during which the new arrivals, along with three other Mexican wolves already on-site, will be examined by students and professional staff. This unique course is one of only two in the U.S. that offers

hands-on experience with wolves. The instructor, Dr. Mark Johnson, is the Executive Director of Global Wildlife Resources, Inc. and former veterinarian of Yellowstone National Park. The wolves used for the class must be caught up every year for health exams and vaccines as part of their care under SSP regulations.

The 25 students in the course are from all over the country, and include tribal members, wildlife rehabilitation professionals, veterinarians, biologists, curators, and students and represent facilities such as Cougar Mountain Zoological Park, University of Alberta, Woodland Park Zoo, Grizzly Bear Outreach Project and the U.S. Forest Service.

Read the story of Fern, the El Paso Zoo wolf sent to Wolf Haven International.


Wolf Haven International is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit that has been working for wolf conservation around the Northwest and throughout the world since 1982. In addition to rescuing and providing sanctuary for captive-born wolves, Wolf Haven offers educational guided walking tours of its wolf sanctuary to the public. Wolf Haven educates over 17,000 visitors each year on the role of the wolf in the wild. Wolf Haven is an active participant in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Located in Tenino WA, Wolf Haven also offers off-site presentations to schools, community groups, and professional organizations. Visit for hours and other information.

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