Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mexican Wolf Reunion

Most of the Mexican gray wolves or lobos that call the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) home are never seen by visitors to the Center.  For this reason, it's surprising that a number of these elusive creatures have a fan base!

Mexican wolf F749 is by far the most popular Mexican wolf at the WCC living off-exhibit.  Even her arrival won the hearts of WCC supporters.  Three years ago, F749 was flown to the WCC by an environmental aviation organization called Lighthawk.  The organization's volunteers still inquire about "their girl" on a regular basis.  I suppose F749 really made a lasting impression on the generous crew during the time in the air between New Mexico and New York!

Once we launched WCC's WildEarthtv webcams, this beautiful loba had a global audience.   Starting in the spring of 2012, her following grew at the same rate that her belly swelled.  Sadly, F749 went through a series of devastating events shortly after the birth of her eight pups in early May.  In the late spring she lost her litter, and last month she lost her mate, M740.  Alone, there is no way that F749 could know how many people had her in their thoughts.  Thankfully, F749 won't be alone for long.  A week ago, we moved Mexican wolf M804 to her enclosure so the two can adjust to one another while divided by a fence line.  It's a reunion really, the two have lived together in the past.  When F749 first arrived to the WCC in 2009, she lived with Mexican wolves M804, M805 and M807 for a year.  It wasn't until last year that she was moved to live with M740.  So now, we wait until the gates can be opened to allow these old companions to have a proper reunion and hopefully later this winter, a romantic union as well.  As it turns out, the pair is a fine match genetically and the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan management group hopes the two will breed.  We'll be moving some webcams to the pair's enclosure soon so we can all watch and hope that"our girl" finds comfort in her new family.

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