Mexican gray wolf released in Arizona to replace poached male
Springerville, AZ, United States (4E) – A four-year-old male Mexican gray wolf freed into a national forest in Springerville, Arizona last week to replace the poached male is doing well.
According to a statement by the Arizona Game and Fish Department officials , the male wolf is the first of its kind to be released in the last four years in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
Officials expressed hope that the wolf will help increase the breed of the endangered species after the pack’s Bluestem alpha male was illegally killed last year.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Mexican wolf, named M1133, was freed in time for the breeding season after determining that the alpha female had not yet paired with another male.
M1133, born in captivity in 2008, has a radio collar to allow monitoring, as well as four wolves in the pack, including the alpha female.
Officials revealed there were at least three wolves without collars in the pack.
Reports stated the Mexican gray wolf was placed on the endangered species list in 1976 after being hunted nearly to extinction.
Federal biologists started a program to reintroduce the wolf in Arizona and New Mexico in 1998 and as of 2011, an estimated 58 Mexican gray wolves are said to roam the Southwest.