Mexican gray wolf raised at Eureka Wolf Center killed in New Mexico

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NEW MEXICO (KTVI)- A Mexican gray wolf who was born and raised at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, MO was killed in New Mexico in January. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the death.

The wolf named Ernesta and identified as AF1126 was released into the wild last summer with her four pups and her mate Wesley (AM1051). She was the alpha female of the Coronado Pack. Mexican gray wolves are critically endangered, with only about 100 left in the wild in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.

A release from the Wolf Center called the killing “devastating to the recovery efforts.”

Three of Ernesta’s remaining four pups are known to have survived and have been seen with her mate, Wesley. The status of her other pup is unknown.

Mexican Gray Wolves were declared extinct in the wild in 1980 and were reintroduced in March 1998. All Mexican gray wolves in the wild today can trace their roots back to the Endangered Wolf Center.