Posted on | March 31, 2013
The rare animals have been on the endangered species list since 1976, when they were nearly extinct. As of last year, the wild wolf population was 75, up from 58 the year before.
“The 2012 population increase is welcome news, and significant progress has been made in the 15 years since the first wolves were released into the wild,” says Patrick Valentino, a board member for the California Wolf Center. “However, Mexican gray wolves still need a lot of help to resume the important role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.”
In 1997, the California Wolf Center joined the Mexican Gray Wolf Species Survival Plan, a bi-national captive breeding program that supports the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf into the wild.
The center has hosted more than 50 Mexican gray wolves and four breeding pairs that have produced five litters. Today, the center is home to 13 Mexican gray wolves and is one of the few facilities selected to breed a pair of wolves, with pups expected this spring.
The center has a web camera where you can watch the wolves in action. It is also open to the public for tours, except for April 20 through May 19, when it is closed for maintenance.
Spring and summer tours, by reservation only, are at 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. Sundays; arrive 30 minutes early. The cost is $20 for adults; $10 for seniors over 55, military, students and children 12 and under. For reservations, call: 619-234-9653.