LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Wildlife officials are investigating the death of a female member of the Dark Canyon wolf pack.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/NJjmSY ) [auth] that the body of the Mexican gray wolf was found last month. It has been sent to Oregon for a necropsy to determine cause of death.
The wolf was from one of two packs that wildlife officials have been monitoring in the Gila Wilderness, where the largest fire in state history is burning. They say the blaze has not yet reached the packs, which may have pups.
Officials say nearly half of the 88 documented mortalities of the wolves since the start of a recovery effort in 1998 were from illegal shooting.