Sunday, August 12, 2012

Save our Fox Mountain Alpha Female Wolf !

I just spent two days worrying about this beautiful creature. She is the alpha female wolf from the Fox Mountain pack. Part of a pack of endangered Mexican wolves of which there are only 58 remaining on this entire planet. That's it- that's all that we have left of this particular species of wolf...

This wolf lives on federal land and this summer she had a litter of pups- this was a beautiful thing which should have been celebrated. Instead, USFWS- US Fish and Wildlife Service- targeted this wolf and issued a warrant for her death on Friday. You can see the press release HERE and DOW's blog mentioned it in passing.

Why you ask ? Because her pack is being blamed for depredating unprotected cattle on the same federal land- our public wild lands. The rancher has already been financially compensated for those losses and even though there is no proof that these wild and free wolves are responsible for this- USFWS still wants to murder an endangered Mexican wolf mother with pups. Obama approved it. 

What are they thinking ? Obviously the message is that cattle is more important than an endangered species. Not a surprise since the beef industry is so powerful in this country but just because this is not unexpected... does not make it any less of an outrage ? No.

So, I was amongst many many people who called the White House on Friday (202-456-1111) sent emails to NM senators and the USFSW agency itself. Others, like Alicia Graef wrote an alert announcement on Care2 and a petition was duly started (please sign it !). I'm not sure why Defenders of Wildlife did not step in- with over 227,000 DOW members on their Fb page- we could have had the 10,000 signatures within hours. I posted on their blog and Fb page asking for help with signatures. (hey, where were you DOW ?) Instead, we spent all day gathering signatures- on average 2 every minute and by end of the afternoon we had 2500 of them and still growing right now. Beyond all this, I created a Treasury on Etsy to see if I could inspire Etsy members to sign it (you can see it in post below this one).

Lobos of the Southwest - is the primary organization that stepped up to the plate in advocating to spare her life (Thank you !). There are so many alternative choices over a ruthless death, including doing nothing and letting these creatures live on their land in peace and protected which I believe is the rightful one. Wolves are incredible animals, so misunderstood - so misrepresented - and damned by untrue myths and superstitions. The shame of it !

Last night, a press release update from Lobos announced that our female wolf's life will be spared due to all the uproar the public had made, however... she would be removed permanently and encarcerated in a wildlife facility. No information was given about her pups! If she is 'lucky', she will be fed beef laced with a substance that will make her feel queasy and teach her to dislike the taste of beef. CTA is what this is called- conditioned taste aversion. The shame of it, again !

Remember, there is no proof she even touched the cattle and she is living in her rightful domain. The whole point of CTA is that wolves can then be re-released into wilderness. Sounds like a middle of the road compromise or plan ? Except wait ! there is a family of wolves that have been ready for over two years and still have not been released. Basically, our government and/or its agency is not making good on this score at all. Shame on you, once again !

Wolves must be released back into the wild if they are to survive. Some of us want them to survive- others do not. So this is what we must focus on... making that demand. That and stopping all the wolf slaughter that happens in this country. It is a difficult task but it must be done ! 

Join Defenders because they do good work and help make this happen... Stay informed ... Sign every petition... Make the calls... Write the letters... Advocate for wolf welfare and let's do this together. 

Thank you.


  1. Nicole, the only reason I knew about this was through your sending me the petition. Where was DOW - they usually email in an emergency. It looks like a lot of people have let this wolf down - it's just heartbreaking.

  2. It IS absolutely heartbreaking !!!

    There is nothing right about this situation. Folks may be pleased that her life is being spared and I am so concerned about her welfare and her pups welfare.

    She's basically being sent to prison- torn away from her land and family. For no real meaningful reason but profit, money & greed. It's incredulous !

    I am disgusted with USFSW and for Obama's repeated wildlife & environmental violation & leniency record. He wont be getting my vote, i can assure you of that.

    In the meantime... my heart goes out to that poor wolf who is being persecuted.

  3. Here is a video of the Mexican Wolves at the Columbus Zoo in Central Ohio. I have seen these wolves during visits to the zoo.

    Here is an old, but good article about the wolves and the breeding for re-introduction program for these wolves.


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  5. This is SO sad. I am so disgusted with the whole food industry and how profit has been so elevated over people. If they have no regard for people, why care about endangered animals either? I am trying to link to the petition and so far have not been able to. But I will keep trying.

  6. Nicole, I am including a letter that I sent to the appropriate USFWS people. Everyone: feel free to copy/modify this letter and send it off to them. It *is* incredibly disappointing that this is happening, but there are many more things to consider when deciding whom to vote for in November. Peace.

    Dear USFWS:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sparing the life of the Fox Mountain alpha female wolf. There is no mention, however, of the fate of her pups from the litter born this past spring. My hope is that at least they will be allowed to stay with her so she can adequately care for them.

    As I understand it, there is a treatment for wolves called CTA that has been successful in weaning them off the taste of beef from cattle. I urge you to start treatment with the CTA process on this Fox Mountain alpha female so that she may be safely returned to her pack. I also understand that there are many other grey wolves, including a whole family waiting in Sevilleta, who have been successfully treated with this process and await return to the wild. Please do whatever you can to successfully return these grey wolves to their wild habitat to increase the gene pool of successful breeding pairs and to help ensure the survival of this magnificent species, which is perilously close to extinction.


    Hanna T. Doniger


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