GILA NATIONAL FOREST, N.M. (KRQE) – A Mexican grey wolf has been shot and killed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service after showing concerning behavior around people.
KRQE News 13 was there as the male wolf and a female wolf he had mated with were moved from the Sevilletta wildlife refuge to the Gila to live in the wild.
Biologists were hopeful the female was pregnant but that turned out not to be the case.
They say the male took off and on May 15 started getting too close to people, including kids.
Officials say in one instance he watched a young man fishing along a creek, stood just 15 feet away and refused to move. He then spooked a 12-year-old girl on horseback near her home.
The wolf also stood just 10 to 25 yards from a 2-year-old boy near his home when he went to feed the dogs.
Fish and Wildlife worked to trap and tranquilize the wolf, but ultimately had to kill it.
The wolf program has been controversial, but this incident won’t stop it.
“I’m not sure it hurts our program and our mission I think it’s a good example of us responding quickly to an escalating situation this isn’t a typical occurrence for our program,” Maggie Dwire said.
The male wolf killed is one of the few that had been born in captivity as part of this program then released.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife says that only one other wolf in the program has had to be killed because it became a nuisance, but 23 have had to be moved to other locations when they started causing problems. Their behavior changed after the move.