Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Mating Game: Couple Number Two!

Hey folks!  Welcome back the Wolf Conservation Center's: THE MATING GAME! Yesterday we introduced you to the first of our  four breeding pairs, Mexican gray wolves M740 and F749. Each pair was given the opportunity to breed last season so come this month or next we hope to celebrate some pups.  Which couple will "win" this game, nobody knows. But you might get some clues if you spy on all four of our wolf-couple "contestants" on our soon-to-be launched WildEarth.TV webacms!  Are you ready to meet couple number two?

Couple Number 2: Red Wolves M1394 and F1291



Special software developed for the population management of the red wolf population determined that WCC long-time resident, red wolf F1291, is a perfect mate for the newest wolf to join the Center's family, M1394.

Red wolf F1291 was the WCC's very first red wolf, she has been a part of the WCC family since December of 2004.  Last season the 8-year-old was paired with red wolf M1587 and although the two wolves appeared well bonded, they failed to prove fruitful.  This wasn't the first failed attempt at pups for F1291, M1587 was the second male she had been paired with during her tenure at the WCC.  F1291 is the fourth most genetically valuable wolf in the red wolf Species Survival Program so any contribution from her  would be a great benefit for the recovery of their rare species.  Worried that perhaps she was physically unable to have pups, we captured F1291 last summer for an examination.  The whole ordeal took no longer than 20 minutes and at day's end were elated to discover that F1291 was in perfect condition. Perhaps F1291 prefers that she lead the mate selection process instead of software developed for the population management of her species!  Regardless, we let a computer do the match making again and M1394 looked perfect.

M1394 is six years old and was transferred to the WCC from the Mill Mountain Zoo last December. Although the pair haven't known each other long, they appear inseparable.  Could it be third time's a charm?  We hope so!

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