Five more wolf pups have given a small boost to the precarious Mexican gray wolf population.
The wolves were born in April at the Desert Museum in Saltillo, Coahuila, thanks to ongoing efforts by Mexico and the United States to aid in the recovery of the animal’s numbers.
Proud parents are Newton and Zeus, who have been living for four years at the museum, also known as Mude. Newton is the pups’ mother and hails from the Wolf Heaven Sanctuary in Seattle, Washington, while Zeus arrived in Saltillo from the federal Environment Secretariat’s Wildlife Research Center in Estado de México.
A year after settling in, Newton gave birth to a single pup and last year delivered four more.
The announcement of the birth was delayed until yesterday to give the pups a chance to develop safely away from noise and people who could scare them during the first couple of months, which are considered high risk.
“They’ve already been vaccinated and dewormed,” said the head of Mude’s desert wildlife department, Fernando Toledo González. “They are in very good health and get along well.”
Toledo said visitors to Mude are now able to see the wolf pups.
He described their delivery as an event of great international relevance because the Mexican gray wolf, the smallest wolf species in North America, is the most endangered.
Toledo explained that gray wolves are now extinct in the wild, but the species’ survival has been achieved through the binational efforts of Mexico and the United States in the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program.
“There are an estimated 350 specimens of this mammal in both countries, considered one of the rarest in the world. It formerly roamed the area between central Mexico and the southeastern United States,” added the wildlife expert.
Bilateral efforts to recover gray wolf populations started in 1982, and Mude has been collaborating with them since 2009.
Gray wolves can live up to 14 years and weigh between 25 and 30 kilograms. Several trial runs at releasing them into the wild have been tried over the years but the wolf still only exists in captivity.
Source: El Universal (sp)