Friday, April 6, 2012

The Mating Game: Couple Number Three!

Welcome back the Wolf Conservation Center's: THE MATING GAME! So far we've introduced you to the two of our four breeding pairs.  Each pair was given the opportunity to breed last season so come this month or next we hope to celebrate some pups.  Today we'll be meeting our next wolf-couple "contestants."  Don't forget that you can also watch all our couples in real time on our soon-to-be launched WildEarth.TV webacms too! 

Couple Number 3: Mexican Wolves M805 and F837


The WCC was first introduced to F837 in November of 2004 when she and her three sisters were transferred from the Minnesota Zooogical Garden to the WCC as yearlings. Although the wolves are identified by alphanumeric labels - F836, F837, F838, and F839, we called the sisters “the Minnesota Girls."

When the Minnesota Girls arrived, we were relatively new to the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Program and were honored to be a part of the recovery effort. Less than a year later and with much jubilation we received the most exciting news: F837's littermate, F838, was chosen for release to the wild Southwest! Two years later another sibling, F836, also got "the call of the wild." What a thrill to offer these two sisters a life without boundaries and fence-lines, and the task of bringing an ecosystem back to balance. Unfortunately, just a few months after each of the wolves' adventures had begun, both F838 and F836 were illegally killed. Each wolf had only a few months to enjoy their rightful place in the wild. But a few months in the wild was the biggest gift we could have ever given to the girls from Minnesota. If not for some heartless criminals, they could have survived and contributed to the recovery of their species.

F837 and her mate, M805, currently live in the WCC's Lobo Exhibit and together they help visitors better understand the importance of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and the significance of the special wolves on our property that people are not allowed to behold. The two eight-year-old lobos have bonded with one another nicely and they share something in common - each have a littermate who was given the gift of freedom six years ago this July. M805's brother, Mexican wolf M806, was "Minnesota Girl" F838's original mate! After F838's tragic death, M806 started a new family called the Bluestem Pack and has been thriving in the wild as the alpha male ever since.

This past breeding season marked the first opportunity for both wolves to breed. Fingers crossed that they have beginner's luck!

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