Press Release
Information Sought in Suspicious Wolf Death in Arizona

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agents recovered the body of a dead adult female Mexican gray wolf on January 19, 2009, on State Highway 260, between Horseshoe Cienega Lake and A-1 Lake on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, near Pinetop, Ariz. This wolf apparently died from a gunshot wound, and its body appeared to have been dumped alongside the highway. Its death is currently being investigated.

The area where F836 of the Moonshine Pack was discovered saw heavy use over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, as a large number of people traveled Highway 260 between Pinetop and Springerville. If anyone saw a vehicle that was stopped, or was being driven slowly, between Horseshoe Cienega Lake and A-1 Lake, or has any information that could be helpful in finding the person(s) responsible for the death of this wolf, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service /Office of Law Enforcement at (928) 339-4232 or the White Mountain Apache Tribe dispatch at 928-338-1023 or their Wildlife & Outdoor Recreation Division at (928) 338-4385 ext. 231. The Service and its partners are offering a monetary reward for information leading to the apprehension of individual(s) responsible for the death of this wolf. Persons reporting information may be kept anonymous.

The Moonshine Pack was released into the wild in November, 2008 in the area between Alpine and Hannagan Meadow, Ariz. The pack split shortly afterwards, and F836 traveled over a large area from north of Luna, N.M., to a few miles west of Springerville, Ariz. F836 was last located alive on January 17, near the South Fork of the Little Colorado River west of Springerville.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service News Release Public Affairs Office PO Box 1306 Albuquerque, NM 87103 505/248-6911 505/248-6915 (Fax)

“Every wolf we have helped put back on the landscape deserves a chance to survive in the wild,” said Benjamin N. Tuggle, PhD, Regional Director for the Service’s Southwest Region. “All of our available law enforcement resources will be used to conduct a comprehensive investigation in collaboration with our partners. These investigations are extensive and recently lead to the U.S. attorney’s office agreeing to prosecute an individual who killed a wolf in New Mexico. We feel confident that our investigations will identify the responsible parties and they will be brought to justice.”

The Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project is a cooperative effort administered by six co-lead agencies: Arizona Game and Fish Department, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, USDA Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These agencies function as an Adaptive Management Oversight Committee. This management approach provides opportunities for participation by local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals from all segments of the public.

Story Tags

Endangered and/or Threatened species