Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Saving a Wolf Species One Egg at a Time

Mexican wolf F613 in her summer coat
This week we'll be taking an unusual step in our mission to preserve the endangered Mexican gray wolf - a spaying! In order to maintain genetic diversity within the Mexican gray wolf population, older captive females are often spayed. By having this procedure, 12-year-old Mexican gray wolf F613 will unknowingly make priceless contribution allowing her species to persist. Norwalk Veterinary Hospital's Dr Charlie Duffy VMD will remove her ovaries and then we'll send them to the St. Louis Zoo where all viable eggs (oocytes) will be extracted and preserved cryogenically. This measure will benefit the health of the F613, will permit her to remain with male companions during breeding season, and gives the Mexican wolf SSP an opportunity to conserve the wolf's remaining viable eggs for future use in the Mexican wolf in vitro fertilization program.