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Catron County Reports Two Confirmed Cases of Depredation by Mexican Worlves

Wolves Continue To Inflict Suffering on Livestock

Reserve, New Mexico (January 19, 2013) - On December 29, 2012, the Fox Mountain Pack and the alpha female of the Elk Horn Pack were discovered at the carcass of a five-year-old cow north of Reserve. This incident followed the December 15th discovery of a dead 1,400-pound cow on private property east of Quemado. Wolf presence, at this incident, was substantiated by a blood trail and wolf tracks and the sighting of four uncollared Mexican wolves, travelling away from the scene.  Postmortem examinations of each carcass revealed canine tooth spreads, with corresponding hemorrhage, consistent with those of the Mexican Gray Wolf. Lethal bites were not found on either carcass, which is characteristic of wolf predation: wolves chase their prey until it falls, due to pathological fatigue, and then devour it alive.

Investigators confirmed that the cause of death, in both cases, was depredation by wolves.

The increasing population and distribution of collared and uncollared wolves constitutes a growing threat to domestic animals in Catron County. Radio-telemetry collars can be used to alert stakeholders of the proximity of wolves and are an effective tool in reducing depredation of domestic animals.

The Catron County Commission urges involved agencies to use all available means to reduce unnecessary suffering by domestic animals and contends that all wolves should be collared and accounted for.

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