Rare Mexican Gray Wolf Caught in N.M. Trap
ALBUQUERQUE An endangered Mexican gray wolf that was part of a cattle-killing pack has been captured in the Gila National Forest. Six wild-born puppies, possibly wolf-dog hybrids, were euthanized.
The healthy year-old male from the Francisco pack was captured in a trap Thursday and taken to the Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge north of Socorro, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.
The Fish and Wildlife Service ordered the killing of the pack because it had been preying on livestock in the Gila National Forest. It has killed four animals in the past several weeks.
The wolf's parents are still being targeted, said service spokeswoman Elizabeth Slown.
The service has said any wolves that are captured will never be rereleased into the wild.
The puppies were taken from an Arizona den where a lone female wolf had been. Biologists had determined that the pups were not pure Mexican wolves.
Fish and Wildlife began a release program in March 1998 to re-establish wild populations of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico after the species had been hunted to the brink of extinction in the early 1900s. There are now about 50 wolves in the wild.
Source: Associated Press