Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Lehigh Vally Zoo Opens their New Lobo Exhibit!

 F613 greets one of her sons
 Last summer representatives from facilities that participate in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) gathered in South Salem, NY for the Mexican Wolf annual meeting. The meeting brought representatives from dozens of facilities participating in the Mexican Wolf SSP, including Fish and Wildlife Agencies from the US and Mexico, for an update on all aspects of the effort to save the critically endangered Mexican wolf from extinction, and the recovery of a sustainable population in the wild.  The meeting was a great success and the participants were elated to welcome a new facility to the group, the Lehigh Valley Zoo!

The Zoo was was a welcome addition to the MWSSP network as there is a need for additional enclosure space to accomplish captive breeding and to house these wolves prior to their reintroduction into the wild.  Without organizations such as the WCC, Lehigh Valley ZOO, and the dozens of other facilities that participate, Mexican gray wolves would not be able to resume their rightful place in the wild.

Bose with pup in 2008
 Today, the Lehigh Valley Zoo is officially opening their new Lobo exhibit to the public!  Zoo patrons will get the opportunity to behold three handsome brothers named M1077, M1078 and M1079.  Today will also be a reunion of sorts.   WCC curator Rebecca Bose will see these three wolves for the first time since they left the WCC last fall.  The three brothers called the WCC home for several years joining our "family" during the fall of 2007.  Less than a year old, they arrived with their two parents (Mom and one of the pups in photo above) and five female littermates and less than a year later they celebrated the birth of six puppy brothers and sisters (photo right). 

We're so  excited for the Lehigh Valley Zoo, the lobo brothers and the Lehigh community! 

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), or “lobo,” is the smallest, southernmost occurring, and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America. Aggressive predator control programs at the turn of the century all but exterminated the Mexican wolf from the wild. With the capture of the last 7 remaining wild Mexican wolves approximately 30 years ago, a captive breeding program was initiated helping to save the Mexican wolf from extinction. Today, the captive population consists of over 300 animals, and encompasses close to 50 zoos and wildlife facilities throughout the United States and Mexico. 

2 comments:

Jean Ossorio said...

It's very happy news that F613 has been doing well in captivity and contributing to the genetic diversity of the population through her captive litters, given her difficult life in the wild and subsequent recapture. ^..^

nywolf said...

Indeed, Jean! F613 is a survivor and a fantastic mother. She remains off exhibit with her 2008 litter of six. Her pups are beautiful and elusive and waiting for the call of the wild.