CHICAGO (AP) — Federal officials say a Mexican wolf removed from Brookfield Zoo in suburban Chicago to be part of a recovery program in the wild has been found dead in western New Mexico.
The U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service told the Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/1EgMpH2 ) that the body of the wolf, named Ernesta, was found Jan. 7 in Gila Wilderness Area. Officials are investigating her cause of death.
Ernesta was born in captivity in 2008 and came to Brookfield Zoo in 2010. She was released into the wild in 2014 while pregnant and had six pups in the wild.
Brookfield Zoo associate curator of mammals Joan Daniels says staffers are saddened about her death but encouraged “because we know her offspring are in the wild.”
Mexican wolves were listed as endangered in 1976.
Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com