Mexican Gray Wolf Babs Embarks On Exciting New Journey
Lobo Week is off to an incredible start at the WCC. Mexican gray wolf Babs, born at the WCC in 2018, recently took a momentous step in her journey toward freedom. Last Monday, Babs crossed the border into Mexico and joined a prerelease facility called La Mesa in Northern Mexico, a facility with no public access, which is a perfect place for her to prepare for a wild release. This marks a significant milestone in her quest to eventually be released into the wild, where she can thrive as a part of her historical habitat range.
The transfer of Babs and another male wolf, numbered M1904, was made possible through a joint effort by several volunteer aviation operations and organizations, including Pilots to the Rescue (PTTR), Lighthawk, the USFWS, and the Mexican government’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP).
A Coordinated Effort
The successful transfer of these wolves to La Mesa was an intricate operation that required the cooperation of multiple organizations with different areas of expertise. PTTR’s conservation mission is to utilize an advanced rescue flight system, while Lighthawk creates change for our environment by crafting effective conservation flight campaigns with measurable outcomes that benefit nature.
Then you have us, the Wolf Conservation Center, where Babs was born to parents Trumpet and Lighthawk, who are still actively helping their species as a breeding pair, and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, where the male wolf came from, who are both in coordination with the USFWS through the SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program. Currently, Mexican gray wolves, are not being released in the U.S., but Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) is actively releasing adults. If that seems like a lot of acronyms, it is, but it furthers the point of just how much time, effort, and coordination went into this process, a feat that should be contemplated and celebrated for each incremental success.
There are currently around 241 Mexican gray wolves living in the wild in the U.S. and 45 in Mexico, and we are ecstatic that she will potentially have the opportunity to be the next one of them! It is a testament to the dedication and collaboration of these organizations that Babs and M1904 have been successfully transferred. Though the process can seem a bit convoluted, we believe it’s worth it, with every transfer bringing us a step towards the preservation and continued recovery of this species.
Why It’s Worth It
Organizations like the WCC and the others involved in Lobo recovery efforts play a crucial role in rebuilding populations. Mexican gray wolves were once nearly extinct due to extensive hunting and trapping and habitat loss. The establishment of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program in 1977 marked the beginning of efforts to restore the species to its natural habitat. Since then, organizations like the WCC have been working tirelessly to help bring the Mexican gray wolf back from the brink of extinction. These organizations conduct scientific research, participate in captive breeding programs, and release wolves into the wild, all with the goal of restoring a healthy and sustainable population of Mexican gray wolves in their natural habitat. Without the dedication and hard work of these organizations, the survival of the Mexican gray wolf would be in serious jeopardy.
Lobo Week 2023
Babs’ story is just one of many. Still, through your continued support, we continue to be able to work together to contribute our small part to Mexican wolf recovery efforts, and because of your donations, and collaborative partners around the globe, there’s soon to be one more wild wolf where it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Speaking of donations, tomorrow is a very special day for Mexican gray wolves aka Lobos. In celebration of our annual “Lobo Week,” Montelobos Mezcal is matching all donations received tomorrow up to $20,000! If you’re looking for a good time to give back to wolf recovery efforts, mark your calendar!
Let Babs’ story inspire us to remain vigilant and committed to the cause of conservation so that other wolves have the opportunity to live their best lives and thrive in the wild!
Pilots to the Rescue‘s mission is to save potential pets facing euthanasia utilizing an advanced rescue flight system. Enrolling a network of trained pilots, shelters, ground teams and veterinarians, PTTR flies these little souls filled with unconditional love giving them a second chance for a forever home. Pilots to the Rescue is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit all volunteer organization (IRS EIN: #47-3415146).
LightHawk creates change for our environment by crafting effective conservation flight campaigns with measurable outcomes that benefit nature.