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Mexican Gray Wolves

These endangered animals used to play an important role in New Mexico's ecosystem.

wolf banner, pic from 2007

When Visiting...

  • Meet Albuquerque's wolf pack.
  • Step up to the viewing window and peek through trees to find wolves.
  • Get hands-on with biofacts during Wolf Awareness Days.
See lobos at the Zoo. Exhibit page photo courtesy of Tallan Melton..

Photo courtesy of Tallon Melton.

Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi), also known as lobos, inhabit ponderosa pine forests and pine/oak foothills. Social and intelligent, wolves live in packs consisting of a dominant male and female – the alpha pair – and their offspring. They communicate through body postures, facial expressions, scent-marking and howling.

Wolves rarely fight within their own packs. Instead, they cooperate, especially during a hunt. They eat small game, deer and elk.

Although wolves are rarely aggressive towards people, many settlers in the late 1800s viewed wolves as a threat to human and livestock safety. A campaign to eliminate wolves using traps, guns and poisons wiped out wild Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico by the mid-1920s. The wolf was classified as endangered in 1976.

Conservation efforts are helping protect Mexican gray wolves

  • Captive breeding under the Wolf Recovery Plan aims to restore lobos to their native southwest territory.
  • After about a 10-year break, the ABQ BioPark Zoo is slated to return to breeding the Mexican gray wolf. Female Kawi is the newest Mexican gray wolf to come to the zoo. She came to Albuquerque in early 2016 from Mexico, and is recommended for breeding with male Apache. Fortunately, the BioPark knows a thing or two about producing Mexican wolf pups. After all, the zoo welcomed 69 of them between 1983 and 2005. Learn more here. 
  • You can sponsor a wolf by becoming a Zoo Parent.

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