San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Zoo announces death of beloved 15-year-old Mexican Gray Wolf

Amancay Tapia
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The San Francisco Zoo has announced the death of a beloved 15-year-old male Mexican gray wolf named “Garcia”.

The Zoo announced the passing of the gray wolf via Twitter;

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Garcia, 15-year-old male Mexican gray wolf. As Mexican gray wolves go, Garcia was uncharacteristically bold, curious and playful, which made him a fan favorite by both visitors and animal staff alike”.

According to the San Francisco Zoo, the highly intelligent Garcia was a “wonderful ambassador for his wild counterparts, and was valuable in educating countless people about misconceptions surrounding wolves, and the challenges of habitat loss and human wildlife conflict”

Ageing Garcia loved his food “He was never one to miss a meal, and would enthusiastically guard favorite food prizes from his brothers Prince and Bowie”.

Garcia lived a pretty long life in captivity, Mexican gray wolves in the wild are estimated to live between 8 to 13 years and in captivity around 15 years. The age of Garcia at the time of his passing.

The Mexican gray wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf who is also known as “el lobo”(which means wolf in Spanish) They are one of the most endangered wolf subspecies in the world but since 1976 they are protected under the Endangered Species Act that came into effect in 1973.

It was during the 70’s that the Mexican gray wolf had been all but eliminated from the United States and Mexico so by the late 70's, efforts were made to encourage captive breeding with the capture of the last remaining Mexican wolves in the wild in Mexico.

This captive breeding efforts were key to the gray wolf recovery and it pretty much saved the wolf subspecies from extinction, as it provided wolves for reintroduction to the wild in the United States and Mexico.

They Mexican gray wolves are found only in North America,they are native to the Southwest, including Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and northern Mexico.

According to the center for biological diversity “at the end of 2019, just 163 Mexican gray wolves were counted in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico” but the population grew by 23 animals in 2020.

In the San Francisco Zoo the Mexican gray wolves are to be found in a large habitat located between the black bear and grizzly bear habitats.The captive Mexican grey wolf population is managed under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums through the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP).

Thnak you to the San Francisco Zoo for looking after Garcia so well and farewell to darling Garcia. You will be missed.

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