Mexican gray wolf became a star of zoo and wild

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Mexican gray wolf became a star of zoo and wild

Post by Blightwolf » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:27 am

Gray wolf became a star of zoo and wild
May 5, 2010

A female Mexican gray wolf born 13 years ago at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs has defied the odds in several ways and still roams the range in New Mexico today.

Named Estrella (Spanish for "star") when she was born, the wolf acquired the less Disney-esque moniker of AF521 when released into the wild with her litter of pups in June 2002. In the years that followed, she showed that the zoo's name for her was appropriate.

Estrella whelped litters every year from 2002 to 2007, becoming the breeding star of the Mexican gray wolf recovery program. After 2002, all the litters were born in the wild. One of her daughters became the alpha female of another pack - unmistakable proof of a good bloodline.

In 2008, Estrella was supplanted by another female and either left the pack on her own or was booted out by a more dominant animal, said Maggie Dwire, a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque.

It would be hard for an aging wolf to make it alone, but Estrella began traveling with a male and his three sons. By December 2009, researchers had lost contact with the older male and one of the younger ones, but Estrella, still wearing a radio collar, has been moving around quite a bit with the two other young males.

A breeding female would be staying in one spot while digging a den this time of year, so it's certain Estrella is too old for breeding. But after leading the league in litters, Estrella is now leading the league in just surviving.

"She is a great wild wolf. To persist in the wild for eight years is a remarkable thing in itself," Dwire said, noting that the leading cause of mortality for Mexican gray wolves is being shot.

Opponents of wolf recovery typically cast themselves as earthy experts on wolves and their habits. As soon as they are charged with the federal offense of shooting a member of the endangered species, their defense becomes, "I thought it was a coyote."

Thanks to zoos here and elsewhere, the Mexican gray wolf still has a chance for survival. Thanks to rednecks with rifles, the Mexican gray wolf population hasn't grown. There are about 42 heading into the current whelping season.

Dwire said, "(flower)521 is a good example of how a single animal can make a big difference."

People can, too. In the 1990s, the zoo began an exhibit called "Wolf Woods," which drew donations from companies, individuals and grade school classes whose contributions were honored with bricks in a sidewalk at the exhibit.

It's not a stretch to say that hundreds of Colorado Springs donors had a direct impact on helping to restore an endangered species to its historical range - including the star of the show.

Source: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_q ... n54018082/
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Re: Mexican gray wolf became a star of zoo and wild

Post by wq47 HawkTail » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:55 am

Thanks to rednecks with rifles
That part made me giggle ^^ Very interesting post, Blightwolf!
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Re: Mexican gray wolf became a star of zoo and wild

Post by alulyra » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:10 pm

There are several bi-national and international programs for the protection of the mexican gray wolf. Leaving them on a un-protected area is a whole irresponsability taking in consideration the huge low in their population through these 40 years.
In Mexico theres still a program trying to create a reserve to protect and free two packs of mexican gray wolves in the Sierra of Durango, where wolves lianage was taken first.

Thanks for the information! Is great to know more about this magestic Gray wolf specie
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Re: Mexican gray wolf became a star of zoo and wild

Post by Willowwolf510 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:12 am

Thats so cool!
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Re: Mexican gray wolf became a star of zoo and wild

Post by Amaroqwolf » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:47 am

Aww thats awesome!
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Re: Mexican gray wolf became a star of zoo and wild

Post by Grin » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:47 am

Wow, that is a really interesting story. It's nice to know that one wolf has had an admirably long and effective life.

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Re: Mexican gray wolf became a star of zoo and wild

Post by Alpha Female » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:34 am

This is a very interesting story, i'm glad the wolf had a great life.
Thanks for sharing this article with us Blight!
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