Wondrous Wildlife
By Vern and Lori Gieger
Viva El Lobo!

     Mexican wolves are the smallest subspecies of North American gray wolves. (Commonly referred to as “El Lobo.”) They are also the most endangered. We see them everywhere: on T-shirts, calendars, posters and paintings. Everywhere but where they should be.
     Although we, as humans seem to hold the wolf in high esteem, fascinated by its beauty and mystique. man’s persecution of the Mexican wolf by poisoning, trapping, and shooting has left their survival as a species hanging by a thread. A single low howl echoes through the night sky, rolling down the valley until it fades in the distance. The Mexican Government has “officially declared” these magnificent animals extinct in the wild. The last known “wild” Mexican wolf in the U.S. was killed in 1970.
     Once ranging from Central Mexico to the Southwestern United States, at present there are only about 200 Mexican wolves in captivity. In the past, Mexican wolves lived in mountain forests, grasslands and scrub-lands. Wolves usually traveled in packs and established territories ranging from 30 to more than 500 square miles. They defined their ranges with scent markings and such vocalizations as growls, barks and their legendary howl.
     There was a clearly defined dominance hierarchy in the pack, (alpha) which was the breeding pair, who mated for life. Additional members included offspring and “helpers.” Only the alpha pair in each pack bred each year. Litters of six to seven pups were born. All members of the pack cared for the pups.
     Wolves ate a wide variety of food, including small animals like mice and squirrels, large animals like deer and sometimes carrion and plant material. Animals killed were usually young, old, or otherwise impaired and weaker than others.
     Once they lived free and wild, roaming the hills and valleys, deserts and canyons. They raised their young, kept nature in balance, drank from a cool stream and felt the wind blowing through their fur as it danced in the moonlight. Today what few remain, survive in cages of steel bars and concrete floors.

“One Pup”

A pup went to his father with
questions in his mind,
about the world around him
about life, nature and time.
Be fearful son of a race called Man
for they know not what they do.
They have been gifted with abilities
far beyond our own,
yet utilize so few.
They act not for their brothers and sisters,
but for the betterment of one.
They’ve violated many of nature’s laws
but know not what they’ve done.
Man has abandoned the powerful mind he has
which first allowed him to thrive,
But he will reap what he has sown
once he can no longer survive.

     This time of year, our wildlife friends are struggling to raise their young. Please, do not start fires! They can quickly get out of hand, destroying wildlife habitat as well as the loss of wildlife. Think twice before using poisons; they can directly or indirectly kill adults and babies. (Especially birds.) If you live in the country or next to a vacant lot, consider putting out a five-gallon bucket of water. This will help keep wildlife out of your garden and away from your pool. It may also save a life.
     If you encounter a wild animal that needs help, call L.W.R.R. 765-4916. Don’t forget, check to be sure that your pets always have fresh water and shade available.