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Phoenix Zoo welcomes birth of 6 endangered Mexican gray wolf pups

(Phoenix Zoo Photo)

PHOENIX — The Mexican Gray Wolf Species Survival Plan received a boost from the Phoenix Zoo when 3-year-old Tazanna gave birth to six pups last month.

Mexican gray wolf litters are typically four to five pups, according to a release by the zoo.

Tazanna and father Tulio, who is also a 3-year-old gray wolf, were paired specifically for breeding and arrived at the zoo on the same day in November 2017.

“The parents are doing a great job caring for their pups,” Arizona Center for Nature Conservation and Phoenix Zoo manager Angela Comedy said in the release.

The breeding was a cooperative effort between two survival plans for the wolves.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Gray Wolf SSP and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wolf Recovery Plan were both active in bringing the pair of wolves to breed at the Phoenix Zoo.

Both plans aim to restore the gray wolf population in the Southwest.

In 2018, 131 wild grey wolves were reported, which was a 12% increase from the previous year but still too low to remove the endangered designation from the species.

There are more than 300 gray wolves spread out in 53 institutions in the U.S. and Mexico.

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