The Mexican gray wolf almost went extinct in the 20th century. Eleven of them were reintroduced into the wild 15 years ago, today they number 75.

Shooting of Mexican Gray Wolf Being Investigated by Federal Government

April 05, 2013

The Wildlife Services employee who shot a Mexican gray wolf in January is being investigated for the incident, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services department have confirmed.

The shooter told his bosses it was a case of mistaken identity, the department told the Albuquerque Journal. The employee, a specialist, was looking into a livestock attack in which a wolf was suspected, said Carol Bannerman, a USFW spokesperson in Maryland, to the Albuquerque Journal.

“While on-site he lethally removed a canine, which was then identified as possibly a Mexican wolf,” she told the newspaper. The killing occurred in January.

Fish and Wildlife had only recently, on March 29, commemorated the 15th anniversary of the release of 11 wolves into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona. They were descended from the seven last known Mexican gray wolves captured and re-bred just before the species went extinct from being hunted and poisoned, the Associated Press said. Restoring the wolves has been a contentious project, with the wolves subject to poaching, suspected of livestock attacks and constantly being considered for exclusion from the endangered species list. 

Today, the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife pointed out in the High Country News, 75 wild Mexican gray wolves roam Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.

Fish and Wildlife did not reveal much about the investigation other than that it was happening, the AP reported. 



kathleen cheatham's picture
kathleen cheatham
Submitted by kathleen cheatham on

Shooting of an Endangered Mexican Wolf a Cover up?
Thank you Rene Romo for revealing this atrocity. It’s time for voters to contact their elected officials to start an investigation and disclosure into the practices of the Wildlife Services agency and find out why they kill so many animals and why our tax money is going into such killings. They have killed Golden Eagles, Wolverines and family pets. The latest killing, was by an “expert on wolves” employee who “mistakenly” shot one of our highly endangered Mexican Wolves thinking it was a coyote. This happened back in Jan and surprisingly enough, wasn’t listed in the January report. This sounds like a cover up and especially at a time when there are only three breeding pairs in the wild and conservation groups are up in arms about the agency not releasing more wolves for much needed genetic diversity before it’s too late. As proved in Yellowstone, wolves are an apex predator and the trickle down positive effect of their presence heals the ecosystem. Investigation and more wolf releases is what is needed.
Kathleen Cheatham

Kim 's picture
Submitted by Kim on

We definately have to do something to save wildlife....I really don't think that shooting these wolfs or any other wildlife she be allowed. I do believe when caught they should get time in prison. The only thing I think should be allowed to hunt is the snakes...We have a big problem with people buying pythoms and boas and then letting them go....They should never be allowed to bring those here...