The Arizona wolf-relocation project struggles as endangered lobos fall prey to guns and cars
by Brandon Loomis / the Arizona Republic
ALPINE, Ariz. — A brown-streaked wolf — named Ernesta by her admiring captors — bounded from a crate and onto Arizona soil. She carries in her womb the newest hopes for a rare native species that is struggling to regain a footing in the Southwest.
Her government-sponsored April 25 relocation with her mate, from New Mexico’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge to a mountain south of Alpine, was the first in the state for a captive-bred pair of Mexican gray wolves in more than four years.
The last time a new canine couple sniffed freedom in these mountains, in fall 2008, they didn’t last the winter. Someone shot the female almost immediately, and the male disappeared by February.
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