Mexican Wolf

Wolves prey on large hoofed mammals such as deer and elk.

Historically Mexican wolves lived in many habitats in the Chihuahuan Desert from low elevations along the Rio Grande to the highest mountain ranges. Today their habitat is restricted to high elevation grasslands and forests in the Gila Wilderness and the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in New Mexico and the Apache National Forest in Arizona.

These animals typically weigh from 50-80 pounds and are about 5 ½ feet in total length. About the size of a German shepherd dog, Mexican wolves have richly colored coats of buff, gray, rust, tan and black.

The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo,” is the rarest, southernmost, and most genetically distinct subspecies of the North America gray wolf. International wolf experts rate recovery of the Mexican wolf as the highest priority of gray wolf recovery programs in the world. As of the end of 2014 the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team counted a minimum of 109 Mexican wolves in the wild of New Mexico and Arizona.

We have two female wolves born at the Columbus Zoo on May 9, 2002.  Ivy and Ash live in the Americas section of the Zoo next to a pair of endangered Andean bears from South America. They arrived at the El Paso Zoo on November 19, 2004.  Mexican wolves are a Species Survival Plan species and their captive breeding is controlled by the Mexican Wolf Captive Management Committee.  Over 300 animals currently live in close to 50 zoos and wildlife facilities throughout the United States and Mexico.

Read about recovery efforts to help Mexican wolves online and check out books from your local library. Become a member of the El Paso Zoological Society. Funds raised by the Society are used to support conservation efforts at the Zoo and in the wild.  

As a family activity you can plan a day or overnight trip to the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico to look for wild Mexican wolves.  While at the Zoo pay careful attention to the Mexican wolf’s color and size so that you will better be able to identify one in the wild. To help Mexican wolves be appreciated by those who live in the Mexican wolf recovery area, be sure to tell people you meet at stores, restaurants and gas stations that you came to not only experience the wilderness, but also in hopes of seeing a wild Mexican wolf.