Three Legged Wolves


The US Fish and Wildlife Services in New Mexico is being heralded as heroes because they didn’t kill two three legged Mexican gray wolves for preying on five cows. Yes, I did say three-legged wolves. Both alphas lost their left front legs. Alpha female AF861, lost her leg to a gunshot wound, that case is still being investigated.

Alpha male AM871 lost his limb to a leg hold trap. This breeding pair is the  VERY ENDANGERED Middle Fork Pack, who live in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, that is HEAVILY GRAZED  by cattle. In spite of their handicaps they’ve managed to hunt and raise pups.  Amazing animals!

I do have compassion for the cattle, it’s not their fault they’re grazing there. But wolves are opportunistic predators and with cattle carcasses scattered around, wolves can still get in trouble and killed for scavenging on them.  This isn’t hard to figure out, it’s a human caused situation and it needs to be remedied!.

Michael Robinson of  the Center for Biological Diversity states:

“Lackadaisical Forest Service management, severe grazing during drought, trespass stock, and scattered carcasses of cattle that died of non-wolf causes which draw wolves in to scavenge, all guarantee continued conflicts between wolves and livestock,” pointed out Robinson.

“Preventing conflicts with livestock on the national forests makes more sense than scapegoating endangered wolves once conflicts begin,” said Robinson.”

The Beaverhead area has a history of wolves scavenging on carcasses of cattle that they had not killed, and then subsequently beginning to hunt live cattle. This spring, the Center for Biological Diversity documented sixteen dead cattle, none of them with any signs of wolf predation, within a few miles of the Middle Fork’s den site.

Independent scientists have repeatedly recommended that owners of livestock using the public lands be required to remove or render unpalatable (as by lime, for example) the carcasses of cattle and horses that die of non-wolf causes — such as starvation, disease or poisonous weeds — before wolves scavenge on them and then switch from preying on elk to livestock. No such requirements have been implemented.”

This Mexican gray wolf  breeding pair (Mexican gray wolves number only 52 animals in all of Arizona and New Mexico) narrowly missed a death sentence because the government continues to allow cattle to graze on our public lands and punish wolves for doing what any predator would do.

Isn’t it time to  limit the grazing leases on our public lands?  Why are cattle allowed to degrade and trample a national forest?  Why aren’t ranchers held accountable for the security of their investment instead of using the federal government as their own private wolf extermination service?  These questions need to be asked and answered.

The Mexican gray wolf , one of the most endangered animals in North America, is being subjected to a ridiculous situation, surrounded by cattle,  yet expected to casually ignore them. Even so, these wolves show amazing restraint with only 4.2% of their diet consisting of livestock.  Are the wolves to blame for this situation or the ranchers?  Who is putting out leg-hold traps?

The wolves were spared in August but what happens when the next conflict comes, as it surely will?  When is this going to stop?


Mexican Wolf Pack Spared from Removal
Author: Center for Biological Diversity
Published on Aug 29, 2009 – 6:52:18 AM

Categories posted in: Mexican gray wolf,  biodiversity, wolves under fire   Tags: wolf recovery, wolves or livestock

Published in: on October 1, 2009 at 10:54 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] the Gila National Forest in New Mexico is probably the most endangered wolf pack in the world, the Middle Fork Pack. Both of the alphas have three legs, each having lost a limb to leg hold […]


  2. i think its amazing that people actuelly have the haert to kill wolves, i understand that they may frighten people which may cause them to take action and shoot them if they rome to their property. but people need to understand that if you leave them alone they most likely won’t harm you. my respect to limpy, that should not have happend.


    • Thank you Haley for commenting on Limpy. He was a truly wonderful wolf and he died for nothing. What a tragedy.

      For the wolves, For the wildones,


  3. […] of the Southwest: Wolf Tales Howling for Justice: Three Legged Wolves Wild Earth Guardians: No More Three Legged […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: