Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Wolf Conservation Center's Earth Day Lobos Turn Six
Six years ago today, the Wolf Conservation Center family grew. During the early morning hours on April 22, 2008, Mexican gray wolf F613 quietly had six pups in her den and created a new holiday- "B'Earth Day." The six newborn pups (three girls and three boys) were not only adorable, they were and still remain an essential contribution to the recovery of their rare species.
WCC staff became reacquainted with the litter when the pups were two months old. This is also when the pups were officially given their alphanumeric "names." Also at this age, beginning at about 5 weeks old, the pups emerged from the den to explore the world around them. Because the tiny explorers cannot go far, adult wild wolves will travel less during this season, keeping most activities focused on the den or rendezvous site.
As the siblings matured, opportunities came knocking. As a part of ongoing efforts to reintroduce critically endangered Mexican gray wolves into a portion of their ancestral home in the United States southwest and northern Mexico, U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) selected one of the pups to be relaesed into the wild! Mexican gray wolf M1141 was transferred from the WCC in September of 2013 to meet his "bride" at USFWS' Sevilleta Management facility in New Mexico to prep him for his eventual home on the wild landscape of northern Mexico. At Sevilleta, the lobo couple hit it off and even engaged in a copulatory tie in February. Today, they reside at pre-release facility south of the border in Northern Mexico. Any day now M1141 and his presumably pregnant companion should receive the "call of the wild." Although M1141 is the third Mexican wolf from the WCC to be chosen for release into the wild, he's a pioneer among his litter-mates.
All grown up now, the five remaining "Earth Day Pups" reside with their soon to be 14-year-old mother, F613. So today on their birthday, we're keeping our hopes high that one day we can offer more of them the ultimate gift - an opportunity to bring their ancestral home on the wild landscape back to balance. Happy B'Earth Day, Lobos!