286 weeks since last adult wolf release!
Lobos of the Southwest

What You Can Do

Third Annual Mexican Wolf Pup Naming Contest Results

Students Give Names to Mexican Wolf Pups Born in 2014 (posted 3/29/15)


We are happy to announce the results of our Third Annual Mexican Wolf Pup Naming Contest!

Students from kindergarten through eighth grade participated in the contest in teams or as individuals. Altogether, 114 contestants submitted over 91 entries that included art or essays along with the names the contestants chose. From these, 17 names were chosen as winners to name pups born in 2014 who have been collared and recorded by the Mexican wolf interagency field team.

An additional 21 names were selected as runners up, whose name selections will be assigned to pups if and when additional pups are collared. The remaining entries all received honorable mentions.

The contest judges had a very difficult task. Entries were ranked based on a combination of the pup name, originality of the art or essay, and the reason given for the name. It was evident that a great deal of thought, creativity and passion went into the entries we received.

These young people and their teachers and parents give us hope for the future of Mexican gray wolves and we think that they are ALL WINNERS!

You can click the wolf pup names to see the actual entries*


Tempesta – Prieto Pack female pup 1392 – Submitted by Julia Anna Costantini and Lorenzo Rochetti

“In Italian, it means storm, as it’s a powerful event in nature, it is a wish for the wolf to stay strong, wild, and free, as it deserves to be.”

Fuerza - Bluestem Pack male pup 1382 – Submitted by Rosa B-S
“I think that a wolf-pup should be named Fuerza, because fuerza means strength in Spanish. Though there are only about 80 Mexican Grey Wolves in the wild (not including the pups), they are still strong enough to affect their whole ecosystem. The humans had the strength to admit their fault and help this unique animal, and that means something. I think that we should name a pup Fuerza, for strength, because even though the Mexican Wolves lost their habitats and many of their kind, they still had the strength to hang on.”

Apache – Hawk’s Nest Pack male pup 1383 – Submitted by Daisy Kollmorgen
“Mexican wolves live in the Apache National Forest.”

Pecos - Coronado Pack male pup 1349-– Submitted by Analise G and Abigail G
“We chose this name partly because the Pecos river provides some of the environment the wolves need to survive. … just like every other wolf pup we want their name to go with the nature around it, like to be related to its habitat.”

Griselda – Coronado Pack female pup 1348 – Submitted by Jamie T.

“I decided to name her Griselda because gris is the Spanish word for gray.”

Dakotah - single male pup 1350 (previously Coronado Pack) – Submitted by Kumari Pacheco
“In the language of the Sioux Native Americans, Dakotah means ‘allies’ or ‘friends’.  The reasoning behind the name is simple; wolves are our friends, they have been for hundreds of years. The relationship between the Native American and the wolf was considered to be a spiritual pact for a friendship. It is only some of us humans today that still honor that bond, which makes it very important that it be expressed through everyone, starting with your precious pup.”

Essential – Dark Canyon Pack male pup 1347 – Submitted by Morgan M.

“Because it means important.”

Vida - Willow Springs Pack female pup 1397 -– Submitted by Mary G
“Vida means life in Spanish, and I think that would be a great name to show that the wolves will live on through life's hardships.”

Century - Fox Mountain Pack male pup 1384– Submitted by Alejandra F-W and Paola V
“We want to name the wolf pup Century because about 100 years ago there was a big abundance of Mexican gray wolves, and now they’re being reintroduced. We think Century is a good name because it sort of celebrates the return of our wolves. The name, Century, is a very original name that is meant to shine light onto wolf population increase after the sad history of when they almost went extinct.”

Atoyaatl – Coronado Pack male pup 1351-– Submitted by Lauren C and Grace W
“We chose this name because it means river in Aztec. We would like to name our Mexican grey wolf Atoyaalt because the Mexican gray wolves can change the river and the wildlife around it.”

Adero - Luna Pack male pup 1398 – Submitted by Audrey de G
“Adero is a girl’s name that means “she who creates life.” When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park they changed the whole ecosystem by bringing down the population of deer and elk.”

Survivor - San Mateo Pack female pup 1399 – Submitted by Niko S and Evan C
“We picked ‘Survivor”’ because the Mexican Grey wolves have survived as a species when they were on the edge of extinction.”

Guardian – Fox Mountain Pack male pup 1396 Submitted by Camilo V

“I think Guardian would be a good name because the wolves need a guardian to keep them safe and to help their population rise.”

Monty – Prieto Pack male pup 1386 – Submitted by Eleanor Wilhelm
“Wolves are strong and this name feels strong.”

Tiara - Willow Springs Pack female pup 1390– Submitted by Iriel B
“Because the wolf pup is pretty and cute and should be treated like a princess.”

Bravery – Dark Canyon male pup 1354-Dark Canyon– Submitted by Renea Stratton

“They are brave and courageous and try to teach us that they are our friends and a beautiful creation of mother nature.”

Mia Tuk
– Willow Springs Pack male pup 1385 – Submitted by Jaryn A.
“He was born into the wild and became a very brave wolf."

Runners Up

Tala – Submitted by Victoria D and Zoe W

April – Submitted by Atlanta –C

April – Submitted by Sara D and Taylor B

Aala – Submitted by Evan M and Will F

– Submitted by Autumn O and Natalie M

Rocky – Submitted by Nicole K

Little Howler – Submitted by Courtney Y

Little Howler
– Submitted by Zoe C-W

Diamond - Submitted by Elizabeth R

Hermoso – Submitted by Evan F & Boden T

– Submitted by Marisa L

Cancion – Submitted by Marisela G

- Submitted by Maria-Luisa QS

Kadin – Submitted by Trinity B

Rio Cazador – Submitted by Silas P

Blue - Submitted by Dalton L.

Woody - Submitted by Alexis D

Wuna - Submitted by Marialisa Hernandez

Bob - *** 

Little Angel - Submitted by Justice E

Vanilla Rust - Submitted by Madison Moreno

Fudge - Submitted by Briana Huebner

Rusty Cream - Submitted by Naudia Dallas

Honorable Mentions

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade:

Scruffy - Submitted by Aby A. 

Cutie – Submitted by Alyssa M-C

Scarlett – Submitted by Brooklyn D.   

Cutie Pup
– Submitted by Dereck A.

Winter – Submitted by Kacee L   

Lobo – Submitted by Maxton V.   


Odin – Submitted by Olaf Emblem

Dome Dome – Submitted by Sean M.

Cocoa – Submitted by Damian C   


Extreme Wild – Submitted by Tyler Huebner   

3rd – 5th Grade

Dark Fang – Submitted by Izzy M.   

Foxey – Submitted by Shara K   

Night Wolf Fluffy – Submitted by Vance Owens   

Night Hunter
– Submitted by Anthony P.   

6th – 8th Grade

– Submitted by Branch D

Chile – Submitted by Amar K-B and Mateo R   

Alana – Submitted by Abby S and Sofia S   

Cinza – Submitted by Arielle R and Sanam Z

King David
– Submitted by Peter J and Luca A   

River – Submitted by Leon R and Kai G   

Ooya – Submitted by Aviva E   

Vaniloby – Submitted by Tiffany S   

Howl – Submitted by Florian A and Dominic G   

Midnight – Submitted by Gabby J and Sofia S   

Feliz – Submitted by Hannelore C   

Layla – Submitted by Hailey K   

Perro Salvaje – Submitted by Jacob S   

– Submitted by Isabella P and Claire S   

Daisy – Submitted by Jordan S and Abella W

Selene – Submitted by Maylin M-K   

Gjallahorn – Submitted by Grant W   

Elpis – Submitted by Rowan C and Bodhi M   

Dusk – Submitted by Mya J and Stephanie G   

– Submitted by Destyn G   

Dusk – Submitted by Saskia B   

Whitefang or Fang – Submitted by Gabrielle P and Charlie S   

Ghost – Submitted by Gabrielle P and Charlie S     

Tornado – Submitted by Gabrielle P and Charlie S     

Hermes – Submitted by Cody H   

Little Red – Submitted by Jordyn M & Anastasia P   

Carne – Submitted by Jonah M   

Limit – Submitted by Jamie M

Klaus – Submitted by Gus P & Myles A

– Submitted by Elaine W   

Artemis – Submitted by Ben A and Andrez B

Flamma – Submitted by Morgan P   

Snowball – Submitted by Casper M and Christopher C    

Snowy – Submitted by Nikki T     

Huge Howls to all of our wonderful participants!

For the most recent Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Monthly Update with information about these pups’ packs, click here.

** NOTE: Only the contestants’ for whom we received parental consent have their names posted here.

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Donate to support our work for Mexican gray wolf recovery here.

Launching the Program

The breeding program got off to a rough start. The only female—who was pregnant at the time of capture—gave birth to four males and one female, but the female pup died four days later. Fortunately, in 1981, at the Endangered Wolf Center (formerly Wild Canid Survival and Research Center) in Eureka, Missouri, this wild-caught female gave birth to one male and three female pups, all of which survived and reproduced in captivity.

By 1983 the captive breeding program was more firmly established with the birth of three litters totaling 15 pups. This breeding line of Mexican wolves is called the "McBride" lineage for the name of the trapper who caught the founders. Only one of the four males and the female successfully bred in captivity, and the unknown wild mate of the captured pregnant female is considered a third founder of the McBride lineage.

There were two other breeding lines of what were thought by some to be Mexican wolves, one in the U.S. called the "Ghost Ranch" line and one in Mexico called the "Aragón" line. Thanks to DNA testing, a team of experts was able to confirm that these wolves were in fact pure Mexican gray wolves, and these wolves were then included in the breeding program.

Today's wild wolves and all of those remaining in captivity can be traced to the seven Mexican gray wolves—four males and three females—that survived the U.S. government's extermination program.

Captive breeding has continued, and as of July 2008 there were 327 Mexican wolves living in 47 captive wolf breeding or holding facilities in the United States and Mexico, many of which are zoos.

Wolf Exhibits



Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Heritage Park Zoo

Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park
Window Rock

The Phoenix Zoo

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center


California Wolf Center

The Living Desert
Palm Desert


Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Park
Colorado Springs


Brookfield Zoo / Chicago Zoological Society




Sedgwick County Zoo


Zoo New England


Binder Park Zoo
Battle Creek


Minnesota Zoo
Apple Valley

Wildlife Science Center
Forest Lake


Endangered Wolf Center

Dickerson Park Zoo

New Mexico

Alameda Park Zoo

Albuquerque Biological Park

Hillcrest Park Zoo

Living Desert State Park

Wildlife West Nature Park

New York

Wolf Conservation Center
South Salem

Utica Zoo

North Dakota

Dakota Zoo


Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Columbus Zoological Garden


Oklahoma City Zoo
Oklahoma City


Lehigh Valley Zoo


El Paso Zoo
El Paso

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Glen Rose


Wolf Haven International

Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian National Zoo


Africam Safari
Puebla, Puebla Mexico

Museo del Desierto
Saltillo, Coah, Mexico

Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources
México, D.F. Mexico

Zoológico "Alfonso L. Herrera" del Bosque de Chapultepec
México, D.F. Mexico

Zoológico de León
León, Guanajuato Mexico

Zoológico de San Juan de Aragón
México, D.F. Mexico

Zoológico Guadalajara
Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico

Zoológico "Los Coyotes"
México, D.F. Mexico

Zoológico Tamatán
Cd. Victoria, Tamaulipas Mexico

Zoológico Zacango
Toluca, México Mexico