A Mexican gray wolf who tried to cross the border was shot in the leg

SILVER CITY, NM (AP) — An endangered Mexican gray wolf who caught media attention late last year after it appeared to spend five days surveying the border fence separating New Mexico from Mexico was found with a serious gunshot wound.

The Center for Biological Diversity announced Friday night that the male wolf that was released into the wild in Arizona in 2000 was found with a bullet in one of its paws. The US Fish and Wildlife Service used a helicopter to track the injured wolf and used a tranquilizer dart to put him to sleep.

The animal called “Mr. Goodbar” was then brought to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo and vets planned to amputate part or all of the injured leg, according to Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Robinson said the wolf is expected to survive and be released into the wild once it recovers.

The injured wolf was spotted during the Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual wolf count in the southwest. Last year’s census counted 186 Mexican gray wolves living in New Mexico and Arizona. Robinson said that number is expected to top 200 when the current census is completed.

Mexican gray wolves were wiped out in the United States in 1950. After the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, some of the last remaining members of the species were captured in Mexico and bred in captivity. Wolves began being reintroduced to the Southwest in 1998.

The Center for Biological Diversity believes Mr Goodbar was trying to get to Mexico while looking for a mate when he wandered along the new border fence for days in November. The fence prevents wolves and other animals from crossing paths looking for mates.

“Sir. Goodbar’s painful experiences illustrate the inhospitable world we have created for Mexican gray wolves and other vulnerable animals,” Robinson said in a statement.

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