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3 Mexican wolf pups cross-fostered into an Arizona pack

September 15, 2020 GMT

PINETOP, Ariz. (AP) — Three Mexican wolf pups have successfully been cross-fostered into a pack in northeastern Arizona, according to state Game and Fish Department officials.

They said biologists used remote trail cameras late last month to document eight Mexican wolf pups in the Hoodoo Pack in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest.

In April, Arizona Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cross-fostered four genetically valuable wolf pups into the Hoodoo Pack from a litter in captivity at the Sedgwick Zoo in Wichita, Kansas.

After cross-fostering was completed, there were five wild Mexican wolf pups and four cross-fostered pups in the litter.

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Biologists will begin fall trapping efforts later this month to document cross-fostered wolves that have survived and to deploy tracking collars to monitor and manage the wolf population in Arizona.

Cross-fostering is being used to increase genetic diversity in the wild Mexican wolf population.

It involves placing genetically diverse pups less than 14 days old from captive breeding populations into wild dens with similarly aged pups to be raised as wild wolves.

Since 2014, there have been 52 genetically diverse wolf pups cross-fostered into the wild to work toward genetic recovery of the Mexican wolf population.