Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gray wolf to receive sanctuary

October 23, 2012 |

Animal had been targeted for death

Standing roughly 2 feet tall and weighing about 70 pounds, the Mexican gray wolf is a beautiful yet often misunderstood creature of the wild.
"They are actually very timid animals," said Linda Searles, executive director of the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.

The Mexican gray wolf is one of the most endangered mammals in North America, with only 58 remaining since the last official count.
So, when an order was placed to kill a gray wolf two months ago, the Southwest Wildlife

Conservation Center in north Scottsdale could not resist opening its doors to save the animal's life.
The female wolf, known as F1188, lived in the Mexican gray wolf recovery area along the Arizona-New Mexico line. She was the alpha female of the Fox Mountain Mexican gray wolf pack and a mother to four pups, Southwest Wildlife said.

The wolf was suspected of killing too many cows on a nearby ranch, and in early August, U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials signed an order to shoot her.
That is when Southwest Wildlife stepped in.

Although the rescued wolf will not be able to return to the wild, she will make the center's sanctuary her home later this month and may be bred in order to reintroduce more of her kind back into the wild.
"Each one of these species is like a spoke in a wheel, and when we lose one, we lose the balance," Searles said. "We're trying to keep the balance so it's a healthy environment for all of us."
The non-profit organization has 15 wolves as part of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program.