New Mexico Wolf Pack Destroyed After Alpha Female Killed, Yearling Flees

New Mexico Wolf Pack Destroyed After Alpha Female Killed, Yearling Flees

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SILVER CITY, N.M.— A pack of endangered Mexican gray has been eliminated in the Gila National Forest through a combination of private trapping and federal shooting on behalf of the livestock industry.

Conservationists learned today that the Prieto pack’s nine-year-old alpha female died in federal custody on April 25 and that a yearling has fled dozens of miles from his natal range. These events follow the federal shooting in March of the alpha male and a pup, and the trapping, maiming and/or deaths of seven other pack members during 2018 and 2019.

“This latest incident is the cruel final blow to the Prieto pack, which struggled for two years to survive the Fish and Wildlife Service and avowed -haters in the livestock industry,” said Michael Robinson at the . “We’ll do everything in our power to end the policy of looking the other way on so-called ‘accidental trapping’ of wolves. It’s crucial to stop the federal government’s sickening program of trapping and shooting.”

The alpha female was caught in a privately set trap on April 24. When notified of this, the decided to take the wolf into captivity because the pack was deplored by local ranchers, even though she showed no significant injuries and no removal order was issued for her. The wolf died the next day of apparent capture myopathy, a stress response in which the body overheats.

The alpha female was the granddaughter of one of the first wolves released in 1998, who also died of capture myopathy after federal capture in 2005.

A male and a female wolf of the Prieto Pack were trapped in December 2018, resulting in the death of the female and causing the male to lose a leg and his freedom.

Following those losses, the pack began preying on livestock. In February 2019 another pack member was found dead, and in March 2019 the government trapped and removed two more; one was later released and is now a lone wolf in the wild.

In November two more wolves were trapped by private parties. One wolf was taken into federal custody, and the other was seen dragging a trap on its paw. This wolf was later seen with the trap gone but part of its paw missing, and has not been located in recent months. And in March federal agents shot the alpha male and a pup.

“The government is supposed to be recovering these endangered animals but is far too cavalier with their lives,” said Robinson. “Though the feds claim they’re looking at the population as a whole, this recurring mismanagement is precisely why the Mexican wolf is in worse genetic shape now than when reintroduction began more than two decades ago.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service currently has an open comment period through June 15, to determine the scope of issues to be considered in the course of a court-ordered revision in its 2015 Mexican wolf management rule that must conclude next May.

This article was first published by The Center for Biological Diversity on 20 May 2020. The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of and wild places. Lead Image Source: Prieto pack litter from 2016. Photo courtesy of USFWS


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Irene Leggett
Irene Leggett

Another government department who absolutely enjoy and love killing innocent, defenseless animals, just to satisfy their fat-assed, money-grabbing, profiteering ranchers. I winder how much the ranchers are paying for ‘this service’ As bad as the BLM who also satisfy their fat-assed, money-grabbing, profiteering friends, the ranchers and kill buyers, by removing wild horses and burros off the public grazing lands…..These government bodies must be raking in the dollars in ‘back-handed’ payments???????

Jeanelle Todd Coutelle

This is truly beyond sad.

Joyce Dixon Dannheim

Despicable morons

Ken Mason

Sad but no worse the way many lovely brumbies were slaughtered in Australia by those running Parks and wildlife. Over 400 shot in the night to lay where they lay after being shot. So sickening.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Another disgusting example of humans cruel and beyond stupid

Janet Kenedy

My Heart is Breaking for those Beautiful Little Babies and their Mama! 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

Michael Smith

This is a tragedy! It’s immoral. How threatening could this family have been, viewed with backgroun… https://t.co/CCm53M9apc