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Midwest scientists help endangered Mexican wolf population

Anna, a Mexican gray wolf who is considered the matriarch of the Endangered Wolf Center. Photo courtesy credit the Endangered Wolf Center

CHICAGO (AP) _ Scientists from the Chicago Zoological Society and a team assembled by the Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences Department at the St. Louis Zoo are using artificial insemination in an effort to improve the genetic diversity of the Mexican wolf population.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the wolves have been endangered since 1976, when only seven were left in the wild. Now, scientists at Brookfield Zoo are utilizing new reproductive tools and technologies to advance the recovery of the Mexican wolf.

Scientists say artificial insemination holds promise for the Mexican wolf as well as other species that are close to extinction.

The Mexican wolf now has a population of about 280 in 55 zoos and other institutions and an estimated 150 are living in the wild.