It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of a special wolf that many of us “knew.” Mexican Gray Wolf F837 passed away earlier today. We won’t know the cause of her death until a necropsy is performed.
The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) was first introduced to F837 in November of 2004 when she and her three sisters were transferred from the Minnesota Zooogical Garden to the WCC as yearlings. Our Center was selected to care for these wolves as a participant in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan. We had the enclosure space available and the luxury of allowing them to reside off exhibit in a natural environment with minimal human contact. Although the wolves are identified by alphanumeric labels – F836, F837, F838, and F839, we called the sisters “the Minnesota Girls.”
F837 outlived her three litter mates. F836 and F838 were given the gift of freedom but sadly their lives in the wild were cut short by poachers in 2006 and 2008. F839 died suddenly a few years back of cardiac arrest. After the loss of her sisters, F837 was introduced to Mexican wolf M805. They met during the fall of 2010 and although they never proved fruitful, the pair was well bonded.
Like most of our Mexican wolves, the pair resided off-exhibit in a natural environment where these most elusive creatures can reside with minimal human contact. Thanks to our WildEarthTV webcams, however, a global audience was able to watch the beautiful couple in real time. Mexican wolves M805 and F837 had a growing group of fans, webcam-watchers enjoyed tuning in to observe M805′s lack of table manners (he never believed in “ladies first” when food was concerned…) and to behold the beautiful F837 bask in the sun in her favorite spot upon the wooden platform.
F837 would have been 10 years old on May 19th. Our hearts go out to her mate and those of you who F837 had unknowingly touched.