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NM: Cross-fostered wolf pups may emerge from dens soon

By Maddy Hayden / Journal Staff Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Eight endangered Mexican wolves born in captivity and placed in wild dens earlier this year are “doing well,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“So far, so good,” said Fish and Wildlife spokesman John Bradley.

In April, two pups were placed in a den in New Mexico and two more in Arizona. Last month, four pups were placed in two wild dens in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

All of the pups were born at the Endangered Wolf Center in Missouri.

“Now that we’ve placed the pups in the den, we will continue to remotely monitor the packs through GPS locations and radio telemetry signals to avoid further disturbance,” said John Oakleaf, a FWS Field Projects Coordinator in a news release. “Later, through remote camera observations and efforts to trap the young of the year, we hope to document the survival of the cross-fostered pups.”

The pups haven’t emerged from their dens yet, so there’s no visual confirmation of the pups’ survival, but Bradley said there hasn’t been any indication to the contrary.

Mexican wolf pups typically emerge from the den at around 6 weeks old, so Bradley said the four placed in April may soon be out and about.

Wolves will be trapped and fitted with radio collars later in the summer.

Only around half of pups born in the wild survive to adulthood.