GA pilots from Denver who volunteer for Lighthawk will transport two rare Mexican wolf females that are part of the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan next week their new home in Washington State. LightHawk has previously donated flights to transport Mexican wolves, aplomado falcons, orange-breasted falcons and river otters.
In this relocation, LightHawk is working with the El Paso Zoo, Wildlife West Nature Park and Wolf Haven to transport the wolves who are part of the Species Survival breeding program. LightHawk volunteer pilots, Randy Luskey and Zach Huston of Denver, will transfer the wolves via private plane Nov. 1 at no charge to the conservation groups or the wolves.
Female wolf 759 currently resides at the El Paso Zoo and will travel to female wolf 962 (Nieta) at Wildlife West Nature Park near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Together, in separate crates, they will travel in the cabin of the private plane to Wolf Haven in Tenino, Washington, south of Olympia.
In 1976 the US Fish and Wildlife Service assigned the Mexican wolf endangered status. Between 1977 and 1980 the five remaining wolves found in Mexico were live trapped and placed in captive situations. Along with two pairs of wolves already in captivity, they became the basis of a captive breeding/reintroduction program that continues to this day. Mexican wolves were first reintroduced back to the wild in 1998, and today approximately 50 animals roam the Gila and Apache National Forests in New Mexico and Arizona. Approximately 300 animals are spread out in packs at the 49 institutions participating in the program.
LightHawk is donating flights to relocate the wolves as part of its mission to champion environmental protection through the unique perspective of flight, according to officials. Female wolf 962 is being transported to be introduced to two older males after losing her pack mates earlier this year. Female wolf 759 will be introduced to a male wolf at Wolf Haven who has been determined to be a good genetic match for her.
For more information: LightHawk.org