Mexican Wolf Recovery Is Howling Flop

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2009 3:20 PM CDT
A Mexican gray wolf in its pen in Hannagan Meadows, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Jeff Robbins)
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(Newser) – A US effort to relocate endangered wolves along the Arizona-New Mexico border is actually rendering them extinct, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials moved eleven Mexican gray wolves to the Gila National Forest in 1998, where managers are trapping, penning, and shooting the wolves to control their roaming and cattle-killing instincts. "We are witnessing the second extinction of the Mexican wolf in the wild," a conservation advocate says.

Wolves that move outside the 3.3-million-acre recovery zone are shipped back, disrupting their natural behavior. And any animal that mauls three cattle in a year—yes, a three strikes law—is killed. But the livestock industry, which says wolves have eaten 1,500 cows over 11 years, oppose letting the animals roam free. "It doesn't take you long to cook that formula and come up with a pretty explosive situation," a US official says.