July 21, 2005
One of the best known and best loved wolves in the
Mexican wolf recovery
program died early this morning, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
announced. The alpha female of the Francisco Pack, F511, overheated during
a routine capture and check-up. Despite immediate veterinary care and
follow-up treatment, she died sometime later.
Mexican Wolf - USFWS Photo ©
F511 was at the Wolf Management Facility at Sevilleta National Wildlife
Refuge near Socorro, New Mexico with her four pups, her mate, M904 and her
yearling male, M919. None of the other wolves experienced any complications
and their health appears to be good. The Service expects the two males to
step into the role of caregiver for the four pups.
"This is a sad loss as this female has been such an integral part of our
program to reintroduce the wolf back into its native lands," said Dale
Hall, Director of the Service's Southwest Region. "Her picture has been
used repeatedly for posters, brochures and other outreach materials and she
quickly became recognized as the symbol for Mexican wolf recovery."
The Francisco pack was brought into captivity per standard operating
procedures this summer because of multiple cattle depredations.
F511 was born in 1997 at the Wolf Management Facility at Sevilleta National
Wildlife Refuge. She was one of the first wolves reintroduced into the wild
in Arizona in 1998 with her parents as part of the Campbell Blue Pack. She
whelped pups seven times over the course of her life and was the most
successful breeder in the wild population. Several of her offspring
continue to range free in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.
Since 1998, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Arizona Game and Fish
Department, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, U.S. Forest Service, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, and White
Mountain Apache Tribe have been involved in reintroducing the Mexican wolf
to areas of Arizona and New Mexico.