Last month, 20 Mexican Wolf pups born in captivity were reintroduced to the wild across the Southwest US.
All 20 cubs were born in zoos or wolf care facilities in Missouri, New Mexico, Kansas, California, and Arizona.
The innovative program is called “cross-fostering.” The cubs were strategically placed in 7 different wild wolf pack dens that contained pups of a similar age.
Cross fostering has the highest success rate out of any other form of wolf re-introduction.
Mexican wolves were hunted to extinction in the mid 20th century. In 1976 the last 5 wolves on the planet were brought to a conservation center, effectively saving the entire species.
Years of conservation efforts have helped a little. At last count, there were over 150 Mexican wolves in the wild.
There is still a long way to go, but the release of 20 pups last month, which represents about 13% of the entire wild population, is a huge win!