The alpha female of the Fox Mountain Pack will be spared a death sentence but is being sent to The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, where she will live in captivity separated from her four pups, who will be left with their father, the alpha male. This will put tremendous pressure on him to hunt and find food for his growing family without his mate by his side. Will the pack even survive without their matriarch?
No doubt your phone calls and emails, along with other wolf advocates, decrying the impending kill order on this critically endangered wolf, was the turning point that led to the compromise. A big thank you to everyone who spoke out but I feel tremendous sadness that a successful and important breeding female will be removed from the wild. The ranchers won because there will be one less Mexican gray wolf roaming free. This mother will never see her pups again. She will spend the rest of her life in captivity and that is not what we want for these animals. But the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center did come to her rescue and we should all be grateful for that. Still the victory is bitter-sweet.
The USFWS must demand the BLM retire grazing leases in the wolf recovery area, to give these animals a fighting chance!!
Scottsdale wildlife center saves Mexican Gray Wolf from death sentence
Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center
Mexican Gray Wolf
A Mexican Gray Wolf that lives at Scottsdale’s Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale has saved an alpha female Mexican Gray Wolf that federal fish and wildlife officials had planned to kill.
The mother wolf of four pups was to be shot after killing cattle in New Mexico, but Southwest Wildlife stepped in and offered the wolf a permanent home. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to the arrangement.
According to a news release from Southwest Wildlife, at last official count, there were only 58 Mexican Gray Wolves in the wild, making them one of the most endangered mammals in North America.
On Saturday, the Tribune received numerous letters from people in the Southwest pleading for the wolf to be saved.
The wolf is the alpha female of the Fox Mountain Pack in southwestern New Mexico, and has four puppies. Federal wildlife personnel are attempting to capture her, and Southwest Wildlife staff is awaiting word of whether she has been safely captured.
The puppies will not be taken from the pack, as they will be cared for by their father, Linda Searles, founder and executive director of Southwest Wildlife, said in the release.
On Thursday, federal Fish and Wildlife officials signed an order to shoot the wolf, which was accused of killing too many cows. This is the first time since 2007 that the agency planned to kill a wolf because of predatory attacks on livestock. The rancher who lost the cattle has been compensated, the release said.
Southwest Wildlife serves as a holding facility for the federal Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program.
“We’re happy we could find a solution to this situation, other than killing the animal, because there are so few of these wolves left,” Searles said. “We will continue to work with Fish and Wildlife through the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program to maintain the species, which is an important part of our ecosystem and our Western heritage.”
The Nina Mason Pulliam Foundation will provide funds to construct an enclosure for the female wolf, but donations will also be needed to help Southwest Wildlife provide care. As part of the center, the wolf will help educate children and other visitors about the role different mammals play in our ecosystem and the importance of preserving endangered species.
For more information about Southwest Wildlife, visit http://southwestwildlife.org/.
Photo: Mexican Gray Wolf USFWS
Posted in: Mexican Gray Wolf, Wolf Wars
Tags: Fox Mountain alpha female, Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, motherless pups, wild to captive, death order rescinded, Mexican gray wolves, USFWS