Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

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Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Canidae » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:40 pm

A star has died.

Estrella, the female Mexican wolf born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in 1997, was found shot to death in western New Mexico in early December. Whether the shooter mistook the target for a coyote probably will never be known.

At 13, Estrella (it means “Star” in Spanish) “was pretty old and not getting around very well” just weeks before her death, said Maggie Dwire, a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque. Two years earlier Estrella had been supplanted as the alpha female of a pack in Arizona and had joined a pack in New Mexico.

The circumstances of Estrella’s demise shouldn’t obscure how she lived up to her name as a breeding female in the federal program to protect the endangered subspecies, which has only 40-60 wild members now.

“In all honesty, she’s contributed so much,” said Dwire, noting that during her life Estrella gave birth to 22 pups and at least nine of them went on to become parents.

“If we had a thousand like her we’d be done,” Dwire said. “She was a very strong alpha female.”

Estrella and her mate were taken from the zoo and taken to the Sevielleta Reserve south of Albuquerque, where she gave birth to four pups in May 2002.

The plan, fraught with uncertainty, was to take the adults and pups and reintroduce them to the wild in the high country along the border between New Mexico and Arizona. Researchers can’t know for sure whether adults raised in captivity will do well in the wild, and the danger from guys in pickups with rifles is hard to underestimate.

But Estrella and her mate proved to be good providers. She was an expert den digger, routinely digging a narrow tunnel that would have an elbow in it.

The Mexican wolf population has been struggling of late, but this year’s breeding season is just beginning and Dwire said “I think things are looking optimistic for growth in the next couple of years.”

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is still making its contributions to the Mexican wolf. In November a female named Weeko arrived. Now she has been paired with a male, Masadi.

“We’re hoping that she and Masadi will breed and have pups,” said zoo spokeswoman Katie Borremans.

It’s too early to say whether the family would be suitable for reintroduction. No doubt, though, there are still some who don’t want to see that happen.

Academics who inhabit conservative think tanks fret about wolves occasionally killing livestock, but those who venture into the West’s wild country know there’s still a lot of it. There are still some places where wolves can roam, and we should make sure this part of the West’s legacy is preserved.

Estrella gave it everything she had.
Source: http://www.gazette.com/news/mexican-111 ... -wolf.html


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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by -x-Zaroque-x- » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:13 pm

Indeed, what an amazing Mexican Wolf, this is a real shame about her death.
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Koa » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:53 pm

Shame, but it is good to hear that at least nine of her pups went on to be parents. Thanks for sharing! (:
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Alpha Female » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:48 am

I agree, she does sound like an amazing wolf. It's a shame she was shot, but its good to know her pups are still out there. =3
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Zethra » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:52 pm

That sounds like a really great wolf! But it's a shame to hear of her death.
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Thandi » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:19 pm

R.I.P the brave Mexican wolf who fought for her species.

Thanks for sharing Canidae.
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Canidae » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:28 pm

I'm just thankful she lived to such an old age. Heck, at her age, she probably would have died naturally soon anyway--a death that would have been more drawn-out and possibly more painful than a gunshot wound.
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Blightwolf » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:14 am

I've heard of this wolf before, in some different articles about the Mexican wolf breeding program.

Unfortunate, but at least there is a small glimpse of hope behind this incident - her legacy lives, like the title says. She contributed to the survival of her own species and she lived a long life.
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Garion1 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:50 pm

While a shame she died it is good that she lived such a full and rich life. Thanks for sharing this Canidae, it was good to hear about a wolf that did so much for her species.
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by CallingProphecy » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:33 pm

Aww it's too bad that a wolf like her died.It's good to see that the Mexican Wolf is slowly recovering,though.She won't be forgotten.Thanks for doing so much,Estrella!
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Alma_Wolf » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:38 am

Its totally awfull know that amazing wolf dies, but well she gave the life to 22 wolves, isnt her?, thats very good for the Mexican wolf conservation.
I hope she is in a better place with the other wolves who live before her.
Now the question is: How dont let another confussions or deaths happen again?
The farmers and the authorities need to know, the wolves aren't invading the land, because the humans do it at first for the wolves. :x
They are the original owners. We need do something for prevent another wolves' deaths. Its a shame know how Estrella die.
Rest in peace :cry:
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by Maia Huntress » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:16 pm

What a great article; it's sad to hear that Estrella was killed, but it's awesome that she's managed to pass on so much of her bloodline to help bring Mexican Wolves back. Thanks for sharing this, Canidae!

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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by walshjam15 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:15 pm

She was and amazing wolf... amazing! i mean amazing! it's too bad she died but im glad she had a long and meaningful life. reading this made me sad but understand why there are people repopulating the world and helping wolves come back to us. we need them even though we don't know it! thanks for the post! glad i could read it!
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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by kmdogs97 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:12 am

It sounds like Star was a great wolf and I hope there are others to follow in her paw steps.

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Re: Mexican wolf dies, but her legacy lives

Post by BitterApple » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:07 am

Aw, sad.
She was 13 years old though. <3 At least there's plenty of pups.

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