U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agents and Arizona Game and Fish Department law enforcement personnel recovered the carcass of a Mexican wolf pup on March 27, 2012, found next to Forest Road 249 west of Alpine, Ariz. They identified it as female pup fp1247, produced by the Hawks Nest Pack in 2011.
A preliminary exam failed to reveal an obvious cause of death. The carcass was shipped to the National Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Lab in Oregon for a complete necropsy, where they determined the wolf died of a single gunshot wound.
If anyone has information regarding this incident, they are requested to contact the Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent at (928) 213-8017 or Game and Fish’s Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700.
The Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 and Arizona Game and Fish Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the illegal shooting death of this wolf or any other Mexican wolf. Other nongovernmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $57,000, depending on the information provided.
Game and Fish staff on the Mexican wolf Interagency Field Team (IFT) documented that the Hawks Nest Pack produced at least six pups last spring. Hawks Nest was one of three packs in Arizona directly affected by the Wallow Fire in the summer of 2011. The fire burned over the pack’s primary den site; however, pack members were able to move all the pups to safety.
The IFT believes at least four wolves remain in the pack, including the alpha pair AM1038 and f1208, male pup mp1244 (litter mate to fp1247) and an uncollared pup. This pack has had no documented livestock depredations or nuisance incidents with humans. These wolves have been able to live and breed in an area including livestock production, hunting, camping, hiking, woodcutting and OHV use with little to no interaction with the people that also use the area.
Mexican wolf reintroduction is a joint effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, and other stakeholders. Graham, Greenlee and Navajo Counties are additional cooperators in the reintroduction.