The USFWS is investigating the case of a Mexican gray wolf found shot to death last week in Catron County.
The wolf, found on Dec. 2, is the sixth to have been found dead this year under suspicious circumstances...
In the latest death, several people believed to have been involved in the shooting have been identified...
...declined to disclose their names, ...authorities are evaluating the case to see whether criminal charges are warranted.
The shooting was first reported to the Catron County Sheriff's Department on Dec. 2, and federal authorities were called in. "My understanding is it was a wolf that could easily be construed as being a coyote because it was old and skinny," said Catron County manager Bill Aymar, who was briefed on the case by a county employee assigned to investigate wolf contacts with residents.
The lobo killed last week was identified as a 13-year-old female, designated F521, that had traveled during the past year with two adult male wolves in the northwestern part of the Gila National Forest. The wolf was considered to be at "an advanced age for a wild wolf," according to a monthly federal report.
Crushing news. Estrella was born in captivity in 1997 as part of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Later, she was brought to a pre-release facility in New Mexico where she was paired with a male M507. The wolves bred in captivity and were released into the wild with a litter in 2002. She whelped a litter every year after that until she was 11 years old. The Bluestem Pack was born and became one of the most prolific packs in Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery. In 2008, Estrella was supplanted by another female and was no longer with the pack. It is not easy for an aging wolf to make it alone, but Estrella began traveling with four males. By December 2009, researchers had lost contact with the older male and one of the younger ones, but Estrella, still wearing a radio collar, has been moving around quite a bit with the two other young males. PHOTO from this WHAPthred
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