Wolf Conservation Center Welcomes New Mexican Gray Wolf to the Pack!
The Wolf Conservation Center family just got a little bit bigger (and heavier)!
Last week, Mexican gray wolf Valentia (also known as Valli or F1538) arrived at the WCC from a US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) facility in New Mexico. Weighing in at 76 lbs, the voluptuous beauty is officially the largest female Mexican gray wolf at the WCC – what an honor!
Valentia was born at the Sedgwick County Zoo (KS) in 2016 and, after two years at a USFWS facility in New Mexico, was flown across the country to her new home at the WCC. Thanks to LightHawk, a volunteer-based environmental aviation organization that donates flights to conservation groups, Valentia flew in style. LightHawk asks that its volunteers bring a lot more than skill; for flights over North America, pilots use their own aircraft and absorb the cost of fuel, insurance, and hangaring during a mission.
Valentia will be introduced to Mexican gray wolf Diego (M1059) after she’s had time to acclimate to her new home, and we’re hopeful the two will parent pups together in the spring. Since Diego is no longer an active breeding participant in the Mexican gray wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) program – at 12 years of age his chances of naturally fathering pups are extremely low so he had a vasectomy earlier this fall – Valentia will be artificially inseminated later this winter. Being a new mother is never easy, but with Diego’s experience raising a superstar daughter (he is the father to Mexican gray wolf Trumpet, born at the WCC in 2016), the duo would undoubtedly be wonderful parents.
We won’t know if the two will have children of their own until “pup season” in April or May. But in the meantime, throw back your head and let out a long welcoming howl for the newest member of the WCC family!