Mexican Wolf Pup Trio Get A Visit from the Vet
Just before midnight on May 25th, Mexican gray wolf F1126 (a.k.a. Belle) gave birth to three beautiful pups – two boys and a girl. In addition to being adorable, the critically endangered kiddos are valuable contributions to the recovery of their rare and at-risk species.
Under Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) protocols, captive born pups must be checked during certain milestones in their development. The pups had their first health check at 10 days old to determine the size of the litter and take stock of their health. Today, near the pups’ two-month mark, WCC volunteer veterinarian Paul Maus, DVM from North Westchester Veterinary Office, joined Wolf Conservation Center staff and volunteers to record each pup’s heart rate and weight, and administer wormer and the first of a series of Distemper/Parvo vaccinations.
The pup trio looked good overall, but the smallest has a case of conjunctivitis (pink-eye) and was thus treated with antibiotics. The smallest male weighs 7 lbs and his siblings 9 lbs each.
Furthermore, in our efforts to raise awareness for Mexican gray wolves and our efforts to recover them, the Center invited a global audience to join the wellness check in real-time via Facebook’s new live streaming application. So unbeknownst to the pups, their global fan base have helped them become powerful players in the fight to restore Mexican wolves to their rightful place in on the wild landscape!
The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Today in the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 97 individuals – a decrease from 110 counted at the end of 2014.