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Wolf Conservation Center Mourns Loss of Mexican Gray Wolf Diego

Diego Rip Wide

Queridos amigos,

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Mexican gray wolf Diego. He passed away this morning at 15 years old.

Diego arrived at the Wolf Conservation Center in 2015 with his two brothers, Chico and Durango, in tow. While the WCC was just a pit stop for his brothers before they journeyed to new homes out west, we were privileged to have Diego spend the remainder of his life with us. It was here that he found love and a family – two things in life that are never guaranteed but are so vital to happiness.

Diego’s first love strode into his life in the winter of 2015 when he met Mexican gray wolf Rosa, a powerfully fierce female with whom he welcomed one daughter, Trumpet, in the spring of 2016. This small yet mighty family unit delighted webcam watchers across the world with their playful antics and unyielding devotion. In this way, Diego taught a global audience about compassionate parenting – a key component of wolf packs.

Mexican gray wolf Diego and his beloved daughter Trumpet.

He also illustrated the importance of patience and grace when faced with new situations. In the winter of 2017, the family of three each went their separate ways, all bound for new adventures in an attempt to (unbeknownst to them) further aid in the recovery of their imperiled species. Diego was introduced to Magdalena, a headstrong and impassioned female who forced him to sharpen his skills of compromise and persuasion. In every tussle over food and gentle spat over den space that ultimately ended in a shared solution, we realized that wolves are better at coexisting with one another than we are.

Thankfully, the final years of Diego’s life were filled with a love that was both tender and passionate. He welcomed a new mate into his enclosure, and his heart, when spry and playful Valentia arrived at the WCC. It was a true love match from the start, with the duo often spotted resting together, nuzzling one another, and simply reveling in the companionship of a kindred soul. We are grateful that he never knew loneliness, only acceptance.

In all of his years of new experiences, the one thing Diego never witnessed was the wild. We find solace, though, in knowing that his legacy lives on through his two granddaughters, Hope and Crumbo, who were released into the wild as pups. They’re living a life their grandfather only dreamt of but through them, Diego is experiencing the wild. As they grow and find love, and create families of their own, they will make Diego proud.

As we bid farewell to Diego, we think of Valentia and all of you, his biggest supporters, and we know he’s not truly gone. His wisdom and gentle leadership live on in his family and will continue to inspire all those who loved Diego. We will continue the fight to safeguard the wild legacy he leaves behind.

RIP, Diego. We miss you already.

maggie howell

Executive Director

Mexican gray wolf Diego’s soulful howl – a privilege to hear.