On May 22, Mexican gray wolf F1226 (affectionately nicknamed Belle) made a priceless contribution to the recovery of her rare and at-risk species, she gave birth to three pups!
The Wolf Conservation Center is one of 55 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.
Under Mexican Wolf SSP protocols, captive born pups must be checked during certain milestones in their development. WCC staff checked in when the pups were about 10 days old to determine the size of the litter and take stock of the pups’ health. Today, near the pups’ two-month mark, WCC volunteer veterinarian Paul Maus, DVM from North Westchester Veterinary Office, joined WCC 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.
All three little girls are look robust and healthy weighing between 7-8 pounds!
In an effort to raise awareness for Mexican gray wolves and our active participation in endangered species recovery, we invited a global audience to join the wellness check in real-time via Facebook’s live streaming application. The video reached nearly two million viewers by end of day! Unbeknownst to the critically endangered kiddos, they’re already making a big difference.
The Mexican gray wolf 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.
Currently 13 Mexican wolves call the WCC home. In the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 113 individuals – an increase from the 97 counted at the end of 2015.