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Critically Endangered Wolves Get A Clean Bill of Health

Autumn is here, the season for pumpkin spice and annual medical exams for the Wolf Conservation Center’s critically endangered wolves. People often ask us how we monitor the health of our wolves. Needless to say, the well-being of our wolves is a top priority, so we constantly take stock of their health, monitoring the shy animals as much as we possible in person and also via webcam. We also conduct periodic veterinary checks for hands-on assessments, vaccinations, and blood-work. Under Species Survival Plan protocols, our Mexican Gray Wolves and Red wolves must be checked by a veterinarian on an annual basis.

In order to examine each wolf, we herd the wolves through their spacious enclosure and into capture boxes – wooden doghouse-like structures with removable roofs. Once a wolf is captured in the box, our volunteer veterinarian proceeds with the exam. We administer vaccinations, take blood samples, and record their heart rate, temperate and weight.

Friday was the second of three health examination days and we’re happy to report that all 4 wolves we examined (Mexican gray wolves F986, M804, F749 and M1198) appear to be in good health! 

Mexican wolves F986 and M804 have an exciting season ahead. Next month the pair will be transferred to a new home – Arizona’s Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center where the couple will be given a chance to breed. Although WCC staff and volunteers will be sad to see them go, we’re elated that the wolves will be given the opportunity to make a priceless contribution to the recovery of their rare species.

Big thanks to our great team of volunteers who came out for the task, to WCC’s generous veterinarian, Kim Khodakhah, DVM from Miller-Clark Animal Hospital, and Mexican gray wolves who are unknowingly contributing to the recovery of their at-risk species.