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NEW! Mexican Wolf Biography #4

M190, Paquito, early victim of livestock conflicts

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Mexican wolf M190, known as Paquito, was born at the Wild Canid Survival and Research Center, Eureka, MO, on April 23, 1995. He was one of several offspring of lobos Francisco (M60) and Sheila (F37) to be released in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in the first years of the reintroduction program.

Paquito was first released in Arizona in May 1999 as alpha male of the Mule Pack, along with his mate, AF189, and four pups. The pack had the distinction of being the first pack of lobos transported to their pre-release pen in panniers on the backs of mules.  

The pack soon ran into trouble with livestock, which were “numerous,” according to the Mexican wolf annual report for 2000. The lobos were observed scavenging on the carcass of a horse they did not kill. Fearing that the Mule Pack would begin killing cattle, the Fish and Wildlife Service set traps in order to capture and move the animals. During the trapping, AF189 suffered severe frostbite in one leg leading to amputation. Despite her injuries she bred again in captivity. The pack was translocated into the Gila Wilderness in March 2000. Unfortunately, the pair soon split up. AF189 managed to survive alone for at least eleven months, eventually disappearing and being listed as lost to follow-up sometime after February 2, 2001.

Paquito wandered in the Gila Wilderness after he and his mate split up, eventually joining his former littermate AF191  of the Pipestem Pack and her pup. After her mate was trapped and permanently removed from the wild for killing livestock in June 2000, AF191 (Zuni) had been left to raise any surviving pups alone, with only the help of a single female yearling.  

In April 2001 Zuni was found dead of natural causes. Paquito remained with surviving yearling F628, who became the new alpha female of the Pipestem Pack. Following conflicts with livestock and the birth of a hybrid litter to AF628, both Paquito and his new mate were removed permanently from the wild by helicopter darting on May 10, 2002. 
Because two Mule Pack pups were lost to follow-up, it is unknown whether Paquito left any surviving offspring in the wild.  

Paquito was euthanized due to cancer on June 2, 2007, at his retirement home at the Wolf Conservation Center, South Salem, NY. He was twelve years old. He is survived by his mate, F628, who continues to live in retirement at the Wolf Conservation Center.

Click here to see a photo of Paquito