(KTVI)-The Endangered Wolf Center will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Mexican Gray Wolf’s reintroduction to the wild. The species that was declared extinct in the wild in 1980 was reintroduced in March 1998. All Mexican gray wolves in the wild today can trace their roots back to the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, MO.
Between 1977 and 1980, the last five Mexican gray wolves known to exist in the wild were captured as part of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program to preserve them. Eighteen years later, 11 Mexican gray wolves in three packs were released in Arizona, thanks to captive breeding programs at facilities like the Endangered Wolf Center. Nine of the 11 wolves in that first release were from the Endangered Wolf Center.
Today, about 75 Mexican gray wolves are known to exist in the wild in the United States and Mexico.
To make the 15th anniversary of that first release, the Center will make the Mexican gray wolf the focus of its tours and events from Thursday, March 28, through Sunday, March 31. The Center will hold three Campfire Wolf Howls and has five regularly scheduled daytime tours over those four days. The Mexican gray wolf will be the centerpiece of each, with staff members and tour guides sharing details with visitors about the species in general and specific wolves living at the Center.
The Endangered Wolf Center has 20 Mexican gray wolves in its population of 33 canids, which also include red wolves, maned wolves, swift foxes and African painted dogs.
Reservations for daytime Preda-Tours and evening Campfire Wolf Howls are required and easily obtained by calling 636-938-5900. Information about those events is available on the Center’s website: www.endangeredwolfcenter.org
The Endangered Wolf Center was founded in 1971 and is certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).