The Wild Release of Mexican Gray Wolf M1141

During the early morning hours on April 22, 2008, Mexican gray wolf F613 quietly had six pups in her den - three girls and three boys.  Beyond being adorable, they were an essential contribution to the recovery of their rare species. One of the boys, Mexican gray wolf M1141, would prove to be especially essential.

The Adventure Begins

As a part of ongoing efforts to reintroduce endangered Mexican gray wolves into a portion of their ancestral home in the United States southwest and northern Mexico, Mexican gray wolf M1141 was transferred from the WCC in September 2013 to meet his “bride” at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Sevilleta Management facility in New Mexico. At Sevilleta, the lobo couple hit it off and even engaged in a copulatory tie in February 2014!

The duo were transferred to Rancho La Mesa (Mexico) in April 2014 but M1141's mate, F1188, sadly passed away later that year. M1141 was then transferred to UMA Buenavista Del Cobre Grupo in Sonora, Mexico in January 2015 and was introduced to a new female, F1203. Luckily, love struck a second time for M1141 and the pair welcomed four pups (two males, two females) in May 2015!

Image Credit: National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP)
Image Credit: National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP)

A Wild Calling

In December 2015, M1141 and his family finally received the call of the wild - the group of six was released into the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains. They were fitted with tracking collars to allow wildlife officials to monitor their movements and quickly adjusted to the wild landscape.

Tragically, M1141, F1203, and one of their female pups were "lost to follow-up" (LTF) in July 2016 - this designation means wildlife officials were no longer able to track their movements and do not know what became of them. The two male pups were lost to follow-up one year later.

Yet one member of this ill-fated family survived; F1418, one of the daughters, still lives in the Sierra Madre Occidental as of August 2020. Through her, M1141's wild legacy lives on.