HOWL Colorado

After a Killing: Next Steps for America’s Most Endangered Mammal

The endangered Mexican gray wolf released into the wilds of New Mexico last May barely had time to get to know her new surroundings. In a July press release, both federal and state wildlife officials confirmed that the wolf had been shot.

Authorities released no other details, and said the investigation was ongoing. But according to the Alamagordo News, the wolf, dubbed F1108, was one of four captive animals that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) had hand-picked for release this spring and that TakePart had reported on in May. Their hope, the department reported, was to bolster the wild Mexican wolf population, which today numbers in the mere mid-70s. The wolves were to be released in pairs—one in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico and one in southeastern Arizona.

But according to the USFWS, the agency decided not to release the Arizona pair, when they discovered that the female, thought to be pregnant, wasn’t. Instead, they loosed only the one pair into New Mexico. According to the Alamagordo News, the female wolf released in New Mexico gave birth to two pups. Yet just days after they were discovered, their father was seen roaming outside of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, a four-million-acre range in Apache-Sitgreaves and Gila National Forests. Because the male had abandoned the female, he was returned to captivity in hopes he could be paired with another mate in the future. After his capture, she began roaming, which is when she was shot…

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