Three wolves found dead in AZ, NM

White Mountain Independent (Original) Posted October 19, 2018 by Laura Singleton

NEW MEXICO — According to monthly report from the Arizona Game and Fish Department issued this week, two male Mexican gray wolves belonging to the Bear Wallow and Saffel packs were found dead in Arizona in September.

A third Mexican gray wolf, found dead in southwestern Mexico, was identified by wildlife officials as a member of the SBP pack. The Bear Wallow, Saffel and SBP packs are known to roam parts of Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

Authorities have not released any details about the circumstances under which the wolves died, or where exactly the wolves were found. The deaths are under investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Once a deceased wolf is discovered, we contact our law enforcement division,” says John Bradley, External Affairs Officer for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Southwest Region. “An initial investigation is conducted by law enforcement and then the animal(s) are sent to our lab in Ashland, Oregon, where a necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.”

“The lab results will be sent back to our law enforcement division so that they can make a determination about what happened to the animal, says Bradley.

Bradley also explained that there are a number of ways in which the USFWS is notified of a wolf death. “For example, if it’s a collared wolf, the assigned biologist may get a radio signal indicating that the animal has not moved in two to four hours. At that point, the biologist may go to the signal area and report back to the appropriate division within USFWS.”

Efforts to reintroduce the wolves in Arizona and New Mexico have been ongoing for two decades.

Wildlife managers says 11 wolf deaths have been documented so far this year, including the three most recent deaths.

Anyone with information about the recent deaths is asked to call the Arizona Game & Fish Department, Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700.