Tuesday

The chorus of howls at South Salem's Wolf Conservation Center is about to get a little bit louder.

A lone wolf pup, nicknamed "Trumpet" on account of his loud squeals, was born May 4, joining the center's current assemblage of 20 wolves.

Trumpet, a Mexican gray wolf — a critically endangered subspecies of gray wolves — weighed in at 1.5 pounds and looked healthy during his first examination on May 12, according to Maggie Howell, the center's executive director.

"We’re very hands off with these critically endangered wolves, so what we did was let the family be for the first seven days and we didn’t go in until the little guy was 8 days old," Howell said.

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) is among the most endangered mammals in North America. For a time in the 1980s, they went extinct in the wild, only to be reintroduced in the late 1990s, in a program run under the auspices of the Endangered Species Act.

Today, 54 facilities between Mexico and the United States (including the WCC) work together under a program called the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan, which tries to augment the wild population.


U.S. releases into the wild are governed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The agency currently introduces captive wolves through a “pup-fostering” approach, in which captive-born pups are placed with wild litters of similar age, allowing them to grow up in the wild.
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Responses to "Endangered Mexican Wolf Pup Born At The Wolf Conservation Center"

  1. One of my most indelible memories: around 1998, at the Phoenix Zoo, there was a small pack of Mexican Greys that had been released in the Arizona/New Mexico border area but after a rancher's threats were recaptured until a better site was found. Presumably they'd had minimal human contact.

    Most of them stayed out of sight, but one came to about 15 feet from the fence which was about ten more feet from the railing I was leaning against. It sat on a small rise, clearly drawing itself to its full height, and watched me watching it. It's hard to say how long we both watched each other that way, hardly moving, just avoiding obvious threats; it felt like around 10 or 15 minutes.

    And then it pounced forward, head low, front paws outstretched, looking up at me, in a pose anyone who's ever played with a dog knows well.

    I've always been "good with animals", but this was (and felt) simply amazing.

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