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One of the Three Original Mexican Wolf Packs Released into the Wild is Gone

The Hawks Nest pack, one of the original three families of lobos released into the wild, is gone.

The Hawks Nest pack was established in 1998, when the original alpha male and his mate were among the first eleven lobos released from captivity. Throughout the years they’ve experienced glorious triumphs, always working together as a cohesive family unit to perform valuable ecological roles and rise above various challenges. But eventually their obstacles grew too numerous to easily overcome, and the family began to dwindle in number until the female, F1473, was killed in January. While tragic on its own, her death represents the loss of a Mexican wolf dynasty. 

We mourn the end of a brilliant lobo family, but also mourn for one of the Wolf Conservation Center’s very own wolves – Mexican gray wolf M1564 (Lighthawk), a former member of the Hawks Nest family. M1564 spent most of his young life roaming the vast terrain of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests with the Hawks Nest Pack but his life as a wild lobo came to a devastating end when he was removed from the wild in the fall of 2016 for attacking livestock.

In another striking blow, Lighthawk’s sister, F1565, was killed after being illegally trapped in wilds of New Mexico. 

Although Lighthawk now resides at the WCC with his new family (mate Trumpet and pups Babs, Kral, and Joe Darling), we think of the wild life, and wild family, that was so cruelly taken from him. The legacy of the Hawks Nest pack will live on through the elusive, endangered spirit of one of its last remaining descendants.