Volume 13, Issue 164, June 2018


The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 13, Issue 164, June 2018

From the Editor’s Desk

If you visit a nature reserve, no matter where in the world, and you pick up as much as a dead leaf to take home, legally speaking, you are committing a crime. If a government tries to promote the use of extreme methods to kill wildlife in national reserves to boost populations of game animals, it is called America first. And again it is Alaska where brain-dead politicians want to allow hunters to bait, trap and snare bears and wolves, kill their cubs in their dens, and shoot defenceless caribou from boats or from the banks as they swim across rivers – in protected areas, mind you. Yeah, I was almost expecting that democratically elected anti-wildlife criminals would come crawling from under their stones and try to further their ends, now that they only have to wave profit prognoses at their Führer.

Another matter very close to my heart, but much closer to home is the Wolf Sanctuary in Reitz in the Free State. If you haven’t been there yet, you may find it difficult to understand why, but if you have and have experienced the uncompromising passion with which rescued and abandoned wolves, wolfdogs, and huskies are cared for there in spite of everything, you will most certainly know what I am talking about. They need, and truly deserve, every bit of support they can get. If you are planning on travelling between Gauteng and KZN, in the next “crazy season” for example, I can only urge to take the “scenic route” via Frankfort, Bethlehem and Harrismith rather than the highways and stop over at Reitz. Your view of wolves and sanctuaries will never be the same afterwards, I promise!

Did you ever realize that most wolf-lovers are actually “cat people”? It doesn’t surprise me in the least, for I am a cat person, too. Wolves are just so much more like cats in their ways than like dogs. It therefore came as a terrible shock to Erin and me when we learnt what has happened at the newly reopened Jugomaro Predator Park in Limpopo. Our hearts really bleed for both the precious animals and the owners.

For a change, we have selected a werewolf and not a wolf tale for this newsletter, and I imagined the Horror Clown sitting at that campfire.

Erin tells how she tracked down a major source of food for our pack that had suddenly disappeared some two years back. In the end, it forced us to buy yet another chest freezer. You have to make hay as long as sun shines, so they say. And while the sun shines from a bright blue sky today, it is bitterly cold up here. I am simply not made for winter.

If you have read it, please post a review of my book, A Houseful Headful of Wolves (German edition: Das Haus Den Kopf voller Wölfe), by following the link on SAFOW’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/safhowl) or directly at http://safow.org/book-review/ . It can be as short or long as you wish, in English or German, and you can remain completely anonymous. I really love to know how it comes across.

Till next month,

Upcoming Events

International Wolf Center (info@wolf.ccsend.com); on behalf of International Wolf Center (info@wolf.org)

Register Now for the 2018 International Wolf Symposium 2018:

Wolves in a Changing World

October 11-14, 2018

Calling all Wolf Biologists, Enthusiasts, Educators and Wildlife Conservationists. Registration is now open for the sixth International Wolf Symposium.

Register now

Location & Lodging:

Minneapolis Marriott Northwest

7025 Northland DR N, Minneapolis, MN 55428

Lodging is available at a reduced rate of $119 + taxes per night. All-suite hotel.

Symposium Fees:

  • Regular registration – $474.00 (June 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018)
  • Late registration – $500.00* (Any time after September 1, 2018)
  • Student registration – $299.00 (High school or college. Member discount does not apply.)

*International Wolf Center members will receive a $50.00 discount. Not a member? Join today!

Registration includes 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, a reception, all daily break refreshments and materials.

Optional Events:

  • Welcome Rendezvous Reception with cash bar, Thursday 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., October 11, 2018
  • Wolves and Wilderness Bus Tour, Thursday, October 11, 2018 – $99 (Bus tour will not be back in time for the reception.)
  • The Last Great Wolf Restoration Banquet, Saturday evening, October 13, 2018 – $50

*If your employer will not cover these expenses or you are bringing a significant other, click here to register for the additional events separately.


Keynote speakers and Plenary sessions will be presented by international wolf experts in their particular fields of study.

Concurrent sessions, given throughout the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, will focus on a variety of topics under the following categories:

  • Distribution of Wolves Around the World
  • Wolf Ecology
  • Wolf/Human Interactions
  • Wolf Management and Policies
  • Wildlands and Ecosystems
  • Wolf Conservation and Education
  • Emerging Research and Technologies
  • Other

Poster Session: Posters will be on display Friday through noon Sunday, with a Q&A session Saturday at noon.

Exhibitors will have displays throughout the symposium.

Networking opportunities will be plentiful.

Be sure to watch your email and wolf.org for updates! You can help us spread the word by sharing this email.

Learn more at: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ecvklsy03664a135&oseq=&c=&ch=

  1. International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Say Yes to New Adventures!

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs here.

  1. Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

Wolf Conservation Center (contact=nywolf.org@mail63.sea91.rsgsv.net)

1. Wolf Camp for Kids!

It may be cold outside, but it’s time to start thinking about summer camp!

Give the young animal lover in your family a chance to thrive among wolves all week long!  The five-day program will include opportunities for your child to learn about nature and wildlife through woodland exploration, scavenger hunts, wilderness games, live animals, etc. Children will learn about various habitats, animal communication and behaviour, food chains, and local wildlife.

Programs will run with a minimum of 4 children and a maximum of 12.  All children who complete the program will get a special “Junior Wolf Biologist” certificate. Pre-registration is required.
9AM – 3PM
Fee: $350 per child for the week-long program (Monday – Friday)

Spring Break Camp 
For children entering grades 3 – 5  ​
Time: 9AM – 3PM
Fee: $300 per child for the 4-day program (Tuesday – Friday)
Information & registration HERE.

2. Sleeping with Wolves – Our Wild Campout Adventure

Wake up with Wolves!

Sleeping with Wolves, the Wolf Conservation Center‘s popular nocturnal adventure experience gives guests a chance to camp out overnight with the 30 wolves that call the center home! With all the howls and nature’s night-time chatter, you will feel like you’re camping under the stars with wild wolves!
Pre-registration is required. Space is limited and dates are selling out quickly!

Information and registration here.

Summer Internships for College Students

The Wolf Conservation Center is pleased to offer summer environmental education internship opportunities for college students! The environmental education internship is designed to expose interns to the field of conservation education and wildlife biology. Interns conduct a variety of education programs and assist with the daily operations of the WCC.

Information here.

  1. Join Us for an Adventure in Yellowstone (website)

The Wild is Calling!

Join us for an adventure sure to impart wild memories!
Join professionals from Yellowstone Insight and the Wolf Conservation Center for unique, educational, and wildlife-filled adventures in Yellowstone National Park!
Have you ever wanted to go to Yellowstone? Bask in the natural wonders of the first National Park? If so, one of these adventures is perfect!
SUMMER FAMILY ADVENTURE: August 5 – 10, 2018: Details here.
FALL WILDLIFE ADVENTURE: September 8 – 13, 2018: Details here.

News from the Wolf Front


From the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary (Frans Badenhorst, wolfrescuesa@gmail.com)

HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary Newsletter May 2018

From the sanctuary

I’m not sure what to say, the animals and I are all healthy, we need lots more support but if you are reading this newsletter then you are already a supporter and we are grateful to you for your ongoing support.

We need a farm pick-up, I’ve spent nearly 25k keeping our Isuzu going over the last couple of months, I’ve approached car dealers but they can’t help us because of the consumers protection act so we can’t even buy a lemon from them and we can’t raise the finance to purchase a slightly better one because we are a NPO, if you can come up with any suggestions please forward them to me, remember we have a PBO number which means that you can claim it back from SARS.

If you think that you can help us or may know of someone who can or is willing to help please let us know, we are desperate, but I can’t go on begging, the conditions aren’t always so great but the animals are well fed and loved out here.

Frans’s Ramblings

From the end of December until well into April, things were quite quiet on the rescue scene and then the heavens opened up once again. I reported in the previous newsletter about the full trailer load that I moved at the end of April. Since then it still did not stop. The very next week we received a message about a family that emigrated to Australia and left a five year old wolf cross female behind. There are a couple of different versions to this story, so I will rather not go into it, but I arranged to go and collect her and take her to HuskyRomi the following Saturday. Late that Friday evening, I received a call from our contact there stating that Niska had a litter of puppies and what now? I swallowed, sat down, and said I will take them all. The following Whatsapp message was that it was seven pups. I called Larry and notified him that I am bringing through eight animals and not only one. As it turned out it was nine because the original count was wrong. Anyway, Niska and her rapidly growing family have settled in nicely at HuskyRomi, but will have to be moved out of the house into an enclosure pretty soon. To do this, Larry has to make some changes to the enclosures around the house and he requires a bit of additional financial assistance to do so. If anybody can contribute to this project, please get in contact with Larry directly. Donations can be made directly into the HuskyRomi account, via the PayFast Donation platform or via the new PayPal account and any amount will be much appreciated.

The next weekend I had work commitments and Derek offered to go and collect a wolf in Westonaria that also required re-homing. Shadow is a lovely long haired wolf and Larry is busy preparing an enclosure for him to share with Jakkals (that came from Carltonville).

This past Sunday, Larry drove down to KZN to collect Shiloh. The re-homing went very well and she made herself at home immediately.

Enough from me for now. Take care and keep howling.


News from the Shire

With the changing seasons it seems like people tend to change animals as well, as if they were disposable “things”. Like Frans mentioned there has been an influx of new animals to the sanctuary in the last couple of months and that is putting strain on the existing resources. So I decided to share all the ways you can help and make a difference.

The different ways to help:

  1. Making a donation directly into the bank account

HuskyRomi Rescue and Wolf Sanctuary
First National Bank
Account : 62296463989
Branch : 23083
Cheque Acc
Ref: Donation / Your name

  1. Making use of the SMS line and donating R10 per SMS on all SA Networks

SMS “Donate HuskyRomi” to 48748

  1. Adding HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary as a beneficiary on your My School / My

Village/My Planet card (Remember you can have up to three beneficiaries)
Or SIGN UP FOR A MYSCHOOL CARD and make HuskyRomi Wolf
Sanctuary your charity of choice. You will be donating indirectly to
HuskyRomi without spending an extra cent, when you purchase at
Woolworths/Engen etc. Please take a moment to register a card
at https://www.myschool.co.za/supporter/apply/

Contact Nolia on FB, email to nolia@pentasure.ws or message to
0726221764 for any further assistance.

  1. By paying the entrance fee when you visit the sanctuary as well as buying
    souvenirs at the different events throughout the year
  1. Virtual adopt / Sponsor an animal of your choice. There are different options
    available so contact Larry or Frans if you would like to make a fix monthly donation
    to an animal of your choice. You will also receive a certificate with a photo of
    the animal that you chose to sponsor.

Check out the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary’s Facebook page for more information here . If you wish to subscribe to HuskyRomi’s monthly newsletter, mail Frans Badenhorst at wolfrescuesa@gmail.com and have yourself added to the mailing list. It’s FREE!


From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Help stop this brutal killing!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse…

The Trump administration has proposed opening National Park Service lands to a potential wave of barbaric killing, including bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens.

We’re pulling out all the stops to prevent this inhumane killing, and we need your help.

Your urgent support of $10 or more will provide the resources we need to turn back despicable attacks on the wildlife you love: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=l9HlbH2RQbB_iPiE2Z7cuQ

Here’s what we’ve learned:

The Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw protections preventing the use of extreme methods to kill wildlife in Alaska national preserves. That would leave wildlife on these federally-protected lands at the mercy of the state. And Alaska state wildlife policy is especially focused on one thing: aggressively killing predators to boost populations of game animals.

Help us stop these brutal killings: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=MW-_exeV5N3J2d2ABhsaSg

The list of extreme methods that could be allowed is nothing short of shocking. The regulatory rollback would allow hunters to bait, trap and snare bears. It could allow them to kill black bears and cubs and wolves and pups in their dens.

The change could also open the way for hunters to kill defenseless caribou from boats or shore as they swim across rivers in national preserves.

Even for this Administration, opening these public lands to such vicious killing represents a new low.

With your donation of $10 or more, we will do what it takes, including court action, to prevent this brutal killing: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=OB7hiN_ZdGl7og3EpZ7zjg

Thank you in advance for your urgent support.

  1. USA: Wolves and other wildlife – beware!

The Trump administration is a who’s who of climate change-denying oil and gas boosters and special interests. And, extremists in Congress are embarking on a ruthless campaign to turn the clock back on wildlife protection.

I won’t lie. Animals will die in alarming numbers if the extremists get their way.

I know you share my love for wildlife. And you’ve been an important ally in protecting wolves, grizzlies and other wild things we love.

That’s why I implore you to take another step today and become a monthly donor to Defenders of Wildlife: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=CapWj_eq-Vm8OfxU0YiPaA

We know that President Trump views all things as resources to be exploited. And the ideologues and the oil barons he has named to his cabinet have their own agendas.

As a monthly sustainer, your support provides a steady, reliable source of contributions as we fight habitat loss and threats to wildlife.

  • What will happen to wolves in the lower 48 when stripped of all Endangered Species Act protection?
  • What will happen to dwindling African elephant populations when the doors are thrown open for importing illegal ivory?
  • What will happen to polar bears and other animals when the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other precious wild habitats are opened for drilling, fracking and mining?

These are real threats, just some of the many we are sure to face in the months and years ahead. Above all, your monthly donation will give us the resources we need to defend wildlife from the mounting threats they face. Become a monthly donor today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Ecl9x6hT14iMaNzz5pw3Bw

Not everyone shares the commitment to wildlife that you and I do. This is the moment when those of who care must do everything possible.

We can’t do this without you.

  1. Mexico: Keep up the fight for lobos!

Here’s the heartbreaking truth:

Mexican gray wolves are the most endangered gray wolves in the world and unless more of them are released into the wild, they are doomed to go extinct.

At the end of 2015 there were an estimated 97 Mexican gray wolves remaining in the wild. And just this week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) confirmed that 14 Mexican gray wolf deaths were documented last year, marking the most in any single year since the federal government began reintroducing them in New Mexico and Arizona in 1998.

It’s critical that we make it clear to the Trump administration that we’re not backing down from Mexican gray wolf recovery!

Please, take action today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=dneqdCO6fShHN–kfp3GDw We must let the Trump administration know that Mexican gray wolf recovery is a top priority.

Please, tell the Trump administration that more Mexican gray wolves MUST be released: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=JFLi2d_hBSrGrDC3UOQhRA

It’s been 40 years since the Mexican gray wolf, or “lobo,” was first listed under the Endangered Species Act. Since the lobo reintroduction program began in the late 1990s, FWS has never released enough wolves from captivity. In fact, from 2008 through 2015, only five new wolves were released into the wild.

Take action for Mexican Gray Wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=A-BpUwmEbxdg53kHIQJ88Q .

These wolves are running out of time. It’s up to you and me to protect their future in the wild.

Thank you for all you do.

From Change.org (Brigitte Sommer (www.wolfsschutz-deutschland.de) via Change.org (change@mail.change.org, translated here from German)

Wolfsschutz Deutschland on Facebook.

Germany: 68 fatalities in Saxony…

We are not talking human lives lost here, but those of wolves. And it is just the official death toll. Considering that only every third dead wolf would have been reported to the authorities, it may be safe to suppose that more that 200 wolves have fallen victim to humans since the year 2000 in Saxony alone. On the other hand, not a single human fell victim to a wolf.
Saxony’s Minister of the Environment, Thomas Schmidt, is quoted by the Leipzig Internet Newspaper as stating the following: “Sixty-eight wolves that were found dead or were euthanized in the Free State of Saxony were referred to the Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde in Görlitz for post mortems.”, with the newspaper explaining that “euthanized” probably meant “put to sleep” or “shot dead” by official sanctioning (https://www.l-iz.de/politik/sachsen/2018/05/Seit-2000-sind-schon-68-tote-Woelfe-aus-Sachsen-untersucht-worden-218967).
Why Thomas Schmidt chose the word “Euthanasia” in conjunction with killing wild wolves remains a mystery.

From Change.org (Heather L. via Change.org; change@mail.change.org)

USA: Does the 2019 Appropriations Bill Target the Mexican Gray Wolf?

The 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill was approved by the House Appropriations Committee today, and unfortunately it targets the Gray Wolf. Specifically, Section 117 would require the USFWS to delist the Gray Wolf nationwide. But included within Section 117 is Subsection 2, which states:
“Shall not affect the inclusion of the subspecies classified as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) of the species gray wolf (Canis lupus) in such list.”
What in the world does this mean? Does it mean that the Mexican Gray Wolf will be excluded from the delisting? Or does it mean that the separate listing of the Mexican Gray Wolf is to be disregarded and the subspecies included within the delisting? If anyone understands legal speech and can interpret this for the rest of us, then that would be highly appreciated!
In any case, we must keep an eye on that rider and fight to remove it from the bill! If you live in the USA, then please write to your Congress representatives and tell them to ensure that this dangerous rider does not make it into the passed bill! The fate of the Mexican Gray Wolf might depend on it!

Read more here.

Sign the petition here.

From ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

Stop Trump From Allowing Hunters to Kill Bears With Dogs, Slaughter Wolf Pups in Their Dens, and Use Motor Boats to Shoot Swimming Caribou

The Trump administration is about to allow hunters to bait brown bears with bacon and doughnuts, use spotlights to shoot mother bears and cubs hibernating in their dens, among other grotesque hunting techniques. Sign this petition to condemn Trump’s assault on wildlife here.

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact=nywolf.org@mail102.atl71.mcdlv.net); on behalf of Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Nine Rare Mexican Gray Wolf Pups Born at the WCC

Elusive. Endangered. Extremely Cute.

A critically endangered Mexican gray wolf living at the Wolf Conservation Center made a priceless contribution to the recovery of her rare and at-risk species on last week – she had pups!

On May 8, Mexican gray wolf F1143 (affectionately nicknamed Rosa by supporters) gave birth to a litter of nine pups – six boys and three girls. This is the first litter born to the pair – mom (age ten), and dad, (age eight).

Beyond being adorable, the wolf pups represent the Center’s active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction. The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Current estimates put the wild population at 114 in the United States. To watch the family’s progress, tune in to their live webcams!


From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – May 1-31, 2018

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project)

activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at

www.azgfd.gov/wolf  or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf . For information on the FAIR call (928) 338-4385 ext. 226 or visit www.wmatoutdoor.org.

Past updates may be viewed on these websites. Interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.com and clicking on the E-news Signup tab on the top left corner of the webpage.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf location information please visit http://arcg.is/0iGSGH .

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: the Alpine wolf office at (928) 339-4329, Pinetop wolf office at (928) 532-2391 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. For sightings or suspected depredations on the FAIR, please call the FAIR wolf office in Whiteriver at (928) 388-4385 ext. 226. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

On May 23, Judge Zipps of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona held a hearing in the 10(j) case to discuss both parties’ responses to the Court’s March 30, 2018 order.  An order following this hearing is pending.

On May 31, 2018 the USFWS published in the Federal Register its intent to conduct a 5-year status review under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, of 38 animal and plant species.  The Mexican wolf is included as one of the species under review. Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Endangered Species Act requires the USFWS to review each listed species’ status at least once every 5 years.  A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, the USFWS is requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the last review for each of the 38 species.  Please see the Federal Register notice for more information here.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) are used to indicate wolves younger than 24 months.  A lower case letter “p” preceding the number is used to indicate a wolf pup born in the most recent spring. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an

established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. Studbook numbers listed in the monthly update denote wolves with functioning radio collars. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.


The IFT completed the annual year-end population survey which started November 1, 2017 and concluded with helicopter count and capture operations conducted from January 24, 2018 through February 3, 2018.  The year-end minimum population count for 2017 was 114 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups).  Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.  At the end of May, there were 73 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.


Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338, M1676, and f1683)

In May, the IFT documented the Bear Wallow Pack in their traditional territory on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  Some individuals were occasionally documented on the SCAR. Yearling f1683 and M1676 were documented travelling with AM1338.  AF1335 was found dead in May.  The incident is under investigation.

Bluestem Pack (collared f1686)

In May, the IFT documented the Bluestem Pack in the pack’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Yearling f1686 exhibited behaviour and movements suggesting that that animal may be dispersing.  The IFT initiated a diversionary food cache in a proactive effort intended to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, f1668, and m1671)

In May, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT maintained a supplemental food cache near the den as part of the cross-foster effort and to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflict.  The Elk Horn Pack continued to display behaviour in May consistent with denning.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1666, m1677, and m1681)

In May, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for conflict.  The Hoodoo Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning within their traditional territory during May.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AM1382)

In May, the IFT documented the Panther Creek Pack in their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  AF1339 was found dead in May.  The incident is under investigation.  After the mortality, AM1382 was documented travelling alone.  Sub-adult m1574 continued to travel alone and is now considered a single animal.  At the end of May, the pack consisted of only AM1382.

Pine Spring Pack (collared AF1562 and AM1394)

In May, the Pine Spring Pack was located within their territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for this pair to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.  The Pine Spring Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning within their territory during May.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared AF1488 and AM1471)

In May, the IFT documented the Prime Canyon Pack travelling within a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  AF1488 exhibited behaviour and movements consistent with denning.  The IFT initiated a diversionary food cache for this pack in a proactive attempt to reduce the potential for conflict near residences.

Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, m1661, and m1680)

In May, the Saffel Pack was located in their territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.  The Saffel Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning within their traditional territory during May.

Sierra Blanca Pack (collared M1571 and F1550)

In May, F1550 of the Hoodoo Pack had localized in the east central portion of the ASNF and has been consistently documented travelling with M1571 formerly of the Diamond Pack.

Single collared M1477

In May, the IFT documented M1477 in the east central portion of the ASNF.  This animal has continued to travel with an uncollared wolf.  They are now considered a pack and will be given a pack name in June.

Single collared F1489

In May, the IFT documented F1489 travelling in the north and east central portion of the ASNF.

Single collared M1574

In May, the IFT documented M1574 travelling in the east central portion of the ASNF.


Baldy Pack (collared AM1347, F1560, and m1672)

In May, the Baldy Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central portion of the ASNF.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In May, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.  They were documented as having produced pups.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343, AF1283, and f1674)

In May, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

Tu dil hil Pack (collared M1559 and F1679)

In May, the Tu dil hil Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR.


Copper Creek Pack

During May, the Copper Creek Pack was not located.  Currently there are no functioning collars in this pack.  Single M1673 was documented travelling within the Copper Creek territory in May.  The IFT is monitoring M1673 to determine if it is travelling with the Copper Creek Pack.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AF1456 and AM1354)

During May, the Dark Canyon Pack was documented travelling together within their traditional territory, in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  In May, the IFT, cross-fostered two wild-born pups (one taken from the Iron Creek Pack and one taken from the Lava Pack) into the Dark Canyon den subsequent to cross-foster events of genetically valuable pups from captivity into both the Iron Creek and Lava Packs.  One pup from each den was removed during the cross-foster to reduce the litter size in an effort to increase chance of survival for the captive born pups.

Datil Mountain Pack (collared M1453 and F1685)

During May, the Datil Mountain Pack continued to travel in the western portion of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).  The Datil Mountain Pack showed signs of denning in early May, however, leading into mid-late May behavior was no longer consistent with denning.

Frieborn Pack (collared AF1443 and AM1447)

In May, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in New Mexico and Arizona.  The IFT maintained a food cache near the den as part of the cross-foster effort and to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflict.  The Frieborn Pack continued to exhibit behaviour and movements consistent with denning.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038 and F1473)

During May, the Hawks Nest Pack continued to travel in the north central portion of the GNF. The pair is now considered the Hawks Nest Pack.  The Hawks Nest Pack showed signs of denning in April, however, leading into mid-May they have failed to show behaviour consistent with denning.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, m1555, m1556, and f1670)

During May, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.  The IFT cross-fostered two pups from the Endangered Wolf Center into the Iron Creek den in May.  One wild born pup was removed to reduce litter size and increase the chance of survival of the genetically valuable pups.  The Iron Creek pup was subsequently cross-fostered into the Dark Canyon Pack den.

Lava Pack (collared AF1405 and AM1285)

During May, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south-eastern portion of the GNF.  The IFT cross-fostered two pups from the Endangered Wolf Center into the Lava den in May.  One wild born pup was removed to reduce litter size and increase the chance of survival of the genetically valuable pups.  The Lava pup was subsequently cross-fostered into the Dark Canyon pack den.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and AF1346)

During May, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158, AF1487, and fp1684)

During May, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT maintained a food cache for the Luna Pack to reduce potential for livestock conflict.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, and f1664)

During May the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north-western portion of the GNF.  The Mangas Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning within their traditional territory. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Mangas Pack to reduce potential for livestock conflict. The IFT captured, collared and released a previously uncollared juvenile female wolf (f1705).

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, AM1398, F1565, m1669, and m1678)

During May, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT documented a minimum of 2 pups with the Prieto Pack.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399 and f1578)

During May, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT documented behaviour consistent with denning for the San Mateo Pack in late April and documented a minimum of 6 pups in May.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284, AF1553, mp1667, and fp1682)

During May, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  AM1284, mp1667 and fp1682 were not located in May.

Single collared AM1155

During May, AM1155 of the old Morgart’s Pack was not located by the IFT.

Single collared M1486

During May, M1486 travelled throughout the northern and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared M1561

During May, M1561 was captured by the IFT north of I-40 in Arizona and translocated back into its natal pack territory in NM.  M1561 has remained in NM since the translocation.

Single collared M1673

During May, M1673 travelled throughout the southern portion of the GNF, largely within the Copper Creek Pack territory.


In May, AF1335 of the Bear Wallow Pack and AF1339 of the Panther Creek Pack were located dead in Arizona.  Both mortalities are under investigation.   From January 1, 2018 to May 31, 2018 there have been a total of 6 documented wolf mortalities.


During the month of May, there were 14 confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock. There were 5 nuisance incidents investigated in May.  From January 1 to May 31, 2018 there have been a total of 39 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and 17 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in Arizona.

On May 6 and 11, the IFT investigated reports of two elk killed by wolves in Alpine.  The IFT investigated and determined both elk were killed by wolves from the Prime Canyon Pack.  On May 12, an elk was killed in Nutrioso by wolves from the Elk Horn Pack.  There were no interactions between humans and wolves during any of these incidents.  All elk carcasses were removed from private lands.  Concentrations of elk feeding in pasture land in these communities have remained high during this spring due to the forage in the wet meadows as compared with dry conditions on the adjacent ASNF.  The IFT encourages all residents to report any wolf sightings in proximity to residences by calling the phone number listed above.  The IFT continued active hazing efforts of wolves in these areas and maintaining diversionary food caches to disrupt documented patterns of wolves regularly using areas inhabited by humans.  At the time this report was prepared, there have been no additional reports of elk killed by wolves in either of these communities.

On May 8, the IFT investigated a report of an interaction between a wolf and a dog at a residence in Alpine that reportedly had to be broken up by the owner of the dog.  The report was determined to be unfounded.

On May 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the bull was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 15, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the injured calf was confirmed wolf.

On May 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 24, the IFT received a report from a turkey hunter who observed a collared wolf from his camp on national forest near Hannagan Meadow three times during a three hour period on May 21, 2018.  The hunter reported that in the early morning hours he first saw the wolf at a distance of approximately 150 yards away from the camp.  The wolf left, then returned 30 minutes later and was observed approximately 25 yards from the camp.  The wolf left the area on its own, then returned a third time and was observed approximately 40 yards away around 9:00AM.  During this interaction the hunter never yelled or did anything to scare the wolf away.  The hunter was alone at the camp and there were no dogs present in camp.  The hunter indicated there was food present at the camp but he was not cooking at the time the wolf was observed.  The IFT confirmed this interaction involved a collared Mexican wolf from photographs taken during the incident.

On May 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was killed by a bear.

On May 26, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On May 27, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 29, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 29, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 30, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was killed by a bear.

On May 30, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation concluded the cause of death was unknown.


On May 2, USFWS presented to various tribes at the New Mexico Tribal Fish, Wildlife, and ESA Conservation Meeting.

On May 8, WMAT presented to the Boys and Girls Club in Whiteriver, AZ

On May 8, WMAT presented to WMAT Forestry Department in Canyon Day, AZ.

On May 10, WMAT presented to the Boys and Girls Club in Whiteriver, AZ

On May 16, the IFT gave a presentation on Mexican wolf biology, management and reintroduction efforts to a group of 6th grade children from Winslow, AZ at their annual camping trip on the ASNF.

On May 17, the Mexican Wolf/Livestock Council met in Springerville, AZ.

On May 24, WMAT presented at Whiteriver Elementary in Whiteriver, AZ.


There are no project personnel updates for the month of May.


The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at (505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

Other News


From Jugomaro Predator Park SA (https://www.facebook.com/Jugomaro/)

All of you who love not only wolves but also big cats will remember that quite some time ago we reported about the Jugomaro Park and all the problems the owners had with the piece of land the park was situated on. We did not hear from them for a very long time and already thought they must have lost the battle, but now the park is back to life.

It is now situated at Portion 4 Number 91 in Vaalwater, Tel. 082 558 0703, and you can get more information through their Facebook page  or their website  (not yet active).

But just when they thought everything would be running smoothly now they were hit by another catastrophe. The new start ended in tears for the family that owns the Jugomaro Predator Park in Limpopo, after three of their beloved lions and their prized tiger were poisoned. In the early hours of May 25. Justin Fernandes and his mother Rosa were alerted to trouble when their wolf Bolt started barking. The first cat they checked on was Panjo, the Bengal tiger that made headlines in 2010 when it escaped and was found two days later in a pine forest on the Swartkoppies farm in the Verena area, near Bronkhorstspruit. All the other cats seemed to be okay but then they noticed that the pupils of Elvis, the white male lion, were dilated and that he was choking on something. When the big cat’s condition began to decline rapidly, Justin performed CPR, but to no avail. Elvis shared the enclosure with Kai, a tiger cub who did not respond to Justin’s call. The two animals were inseparable. Kai was dead and had already digested most of his poison in his system. Next, Justin heard his two brown lions, Taariq and his twin brother Hercules, throwing up. While they waited for a vet to arrive from Bela-Bela, Taariq and Hercules died, too. The pelt of a freshly-slaughtered rabbit was found in bushes near the enclosures. The rabbit had been cut up and laced with the poison Temik, also known as Aldicarb or “Two Step”. Had it not been for Bolt waking them up, the cats would probably have been chopped into pieces, too.

Justin said, “It’s like losing your own childrenMy whole life has been around these cats for the past nine years. I can’t really say how angry and frustrated I am and that I could not do what I needed to save them.”

The cats had been moved from Krugersdorp, Gauteng, where they had been situated before, to the farm near Vaalwater, Limpopo, just about 2 weeks ago.

The family ran into financial difficulty in 2015 and lost the park that they had built in Groblersdal. Rosa said they went through an “ugly liquidation” and lost everything. The Red Ants, a security company, were sent to evict the family from the property. They left with just the clothes on their back. The cats were then taken to Krugersdorp, to a friend’s farm. In desperation, Rosa’s husband, Goosey, tried to open a zoo in Springs to save the cats. When he went to look at the place, he fell into an ash pit and suffered third degree burns, was in intensive care for more than two months, and during this time, the family managed to scrape together over R400 000 to buy back their cats. They later lived in a caravan and in tents in Krugersdorp, where the cats were being kept.

The whole family put blood, sweat and tears into these animals. With tears rolling down her face, Maxine, the daughter, said: “We were with Taariq and Hercules when they passed and we were holding them – telling them that we loved them and sorry that we failed them.”

Please open your hearts and pockets to the new park right here in our neighbourhood and donate whatever small money you can spare (big money is also welcome) to the park:

Name Maxine Fernndes
Branch code 632005
Savings acc. No. 9171806809
SMS proof 0825580703
Or through PayPal jugomaro21@hotmail.com

Next Door

Nothing to report.


Nothing to report.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in Italy

Bears and wolves at risk in Bolzano, Italy

The bill, just approved, on the proposal of the councillor of agriculture Arnold Schuler, provides for the capture, withdrawal or even killing, in extreme cases, some wolves and bears.

The Provincial Council of Bolzano gave the go-ahead to the draft law on large carnivores, including bears and wolves, by means of a bill titled, “Measures for prevention and intervention concerning large carnivores”. All this has been clarified and must be agreed with the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA). To announce it, the president of the Provincial Council of Bolzano, Arno Kompatscher said “The Province of Bolzano, stated, will establish the withdrawal of individual specimens, but only as long as there is no other solution and that this does not prejudice the maintenance of the species”.

So, while animal-loving people following the news are in turmoil, the situation (and lives) of bears and wolves, at least in the north of Italy, becomes harsher. The announcement came a few hours before the World Environment and Nature Day, celebrated all over the world.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 150

The Curse of the Full Moon  by Jennifer Tissot

I knew it was coming. The feeling of untamed anxiety told me so, just as it does every month when the moon is at its fullest.

The curse has been with me since I was a child…but how long I’ve been a werewolf doesn’t matter. All that matters is here and now.

The house is silent and dark as I unlock the back door and step out onto the porch and into the cold, frosty February night air. I shiver and see the clear sky with all its winking white eyes and the one single, large, bright eye. It is the moon, huge and white as my fangs are against its milky gleam.

A shudder runs through my whole body, but not from cold. It’s the sign, the first sign of the transformation of my fifteen-year-old body of a girl becoming the animal.

I leap off the porch and into the frozen snow that feels like freezer burnt vanilla ice cream beneath my bare feet.

The prickling sensation traces through my veins…

It happens.

All my bones twist and turn to become a new structure as gray fur spreads across my arms and face like ripples in a pond.

I grow larger, my whole face pushing out…my nose and mouth melting into one to form the snout.

My teeth enlarge and curve as they change into the shining fangs…the ones I’ll use for tearing and biting with.

My fingers shrink and paws replace my hands.

I feel no pain as all this happens to me. Only a feeling of sheer joy and terror all at once as my heart beats faster…so fast I can hardly breathe…

I’m panting, drooling…

On all fours I rush over the white world beneath my wolf paws, into the woods.

So dark and concealing…

I see every flicker of movement within my colourless world, smell every hint of fear, and hear every sound of the alarmed rabbits and deer as they scurry for cover from me.

I reach a hillside and stop for breath.

I throw my head back and let out my howl. IT is long, shrill, and echoes off the trees and mountains beyond.

“I’m here,” I’m saying within the howl, “and I’m hungry.”

Yes. The scent of a human wafts over the sharp breeze in my direction.

I head for it, bounding.

I keep going into the woods until I spot the wandering man, bundled up to keep warm as he sits near a dying camp fire.

I make no sound as I creep toward him.

One paw, then two. The saliva runs thick over my chin. I can’t help it. His scent is intoxicating.

He suspects nothing with his back turned. He rubs his hands over the fading blaze.

I’m so close, inches.

I’m on him! I dig my claws right through his coat…into his warm flesh…

A half strangled scream is all he manages…

Then, I stop and think.

“A partner would be nice,” as I close my jaws around the back of his neck… and bite him long and hard…

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

I have been very busy lately, because we have finally managed to track down our old butcher. He had left his old butchery after too many fights with his partner and started his own butchery, which turned out to be located not too far from us. We had no clue where he had moved to; his old partner didn’t tell because he didn’t want to lose his customers, but with lots of asking around we eventually managed to find him. When we first walked into his new place, we were very nearly hugged by his staff, so pleased were they that we had found them. Luckily, he had not lost his love for wolves, although we had not seen each other for nearly two years. All his old customers have slowly been coming back to him, one by one, not only because of his high-quality meat etc., but surely also because of the rare family-like atmosphere this mountain of a man almost magically affords his customers the moment he addresses them. We were lucky to receive in excess of 100 kg of game off-cuts from him over the past four weeks. The pack is delighted about all the delicacies they can delve in and I’m sure they must have missed our old friend as much as we did. O.k., they love the chicken we get from a chicken farm quite a distance away from us, but boy, that’s nothing compared to fresh game meat and innards, and you should see their excited faces when feeding time approaches.

Otherwise it’s pretty cold up here in the moment and they spend lots of time inside dozing. Although I’m convinced that they cannot really feel the cold as we do, they don’t like the icy wind that’s blowing right now. Maybe it’s just solidarity with us, because we now spend much more time inside than outside – sometimes I wish we could also grow such a nice, thick coat during winter to stay warm without having to wear layers and layers of clothes that seem to be in the way all the time whatever you are doing.

Will be continued…