Mexican gray wolf found shot in leg after pacing near border fence

Jan 29, 2022, 8:00 PM

SILVER CITY, N.M. — An endangered Mexican gray wolf that drew media attention late last year after it appeared to spend five days pacing along the border fence separating New Mexico from Mexico has been found with a serious gunshot wound.

The Center for Biological Diversity announced Friday evening that the male wolf that was released into the wild in Arizona in 2020 had been found with a gunshot to one of his legs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used a helicopter to track the injured wolf and used a tranquilizer dart to sedate him.

The animal called “Mr. Goodbar” was then taken to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo and veterinarians planned to amputate part or all of the injured leg, according to Michael Robinson, of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Robinson said the wolf is expected to survive and be released back into the wild once he recovers.

The injured wolf was spotted during the Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual census of wolves in the Southwest. Last year’s census counted 186 Mexican gray wolves living in New Mexico and Arizona. Robinson said that number is likely to rise above 200 when the current census is completed.

Mexican gray wolves were wiped out in the U.S. by 1950. After the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, some of the last remaining members of the species were captured in Mexico and bred in captivity. Wolves began to be reintroduced to the Southwest in 1998.

The Center for Biological Diversity believes Mr. Goodbar was trying to go to Mexico while searching for a mate when it wandered along the new border fence for days in November. The fence blocks wolves and other animals from crossing back and forth in search of mates.

“Mr. Goodbar’s painful experiences illustrate the inhospitable world we’ve created for Mexican gray wolves and other vulnerable animals,” Robinson said in a statement.

United States News

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Mexican gray wolf found shot in leg after pacing near border fence