ANOTHER MEXICAN WOLF FOUND ILLEGALLY SHOT IN ARIZONA
USFWS contact: Tom Buckley, 505-248-6455
Arizona Game and Fish Department contact: Bruce Sitko, 928-367-4281
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Law Enforcement Agents recovered the body of another dead Mexican wolf on Thursday July 15, 2010. The wolf, AM 1189, is the second adult male of the Hawks Nest Pack found shot, and the third Mexican wolf found dead within the past month. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.
The carcass of male wolf 1189 was located northeast of Big Lake, within 2 miles of where the carcass of another wolf from the hawks nest pack, 1044, was found on June 18. The pack traditionally uses the area east of Big Lake on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests as their spring-summer breeding territory.
The remaining pack members, breeding female 1110 and yearling female 1188 are the only wolves left in this pack to provide food for the pups that were produced this year. The Interagency Field Team documented that at least seven pups were produced by this pack this spring.
The Service also took part in the investigation of a dead cow in the immediate vicinity of the dead wolf. Results from that field investigation indicate the cow also died as a result of a gunshot wound sometime during the previous 24 hours and was not, at any time, fed upon by Mexican wolves.
“I am deeply saddened by this news.” said Benjamin Tuggle, the Service’s Southwest Regional Director. “It is hard for me to understand why someone would violate the law so heartlessly by killing one of our nation’s endangered species.”
A comprehensive investigation of this illegal shooting using all of the Service’s available regional law enforcement resources, and in collaboration with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and other partners is underway.
“We are bringing the full weight if the law to bear on this problem and will not stop until the person or persons responsible for these deaths are brought to justice,” said Tuggle.
The Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 and the Arizona Game and Fish Department Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the apprehension of the individual(s) responsible for the death of this wolf. Persons reporting information may remain anonymous upon request.
Anyone with information that could be helpful in identifying the individual(s) involved in illegally shooting a Mexican wolf is urged to contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Office of Law Enforcement at (928) 339-4232.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov.
For more information about fish and wildlife conservation in the Southwest, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/