Wolf, Mexican Gray
Canis lupus baileyi
Smallest of the Gray Wolf subspecies: 54-66 inches in length from snout to tail, weight is 50-90 lbs (22-40 kg). Coat is a varied mixture of tan, red, white, and black fur. Generally light in color on lower muzzle, chest, and underbelly. Head, shoulders and back are darker in color.
Class: Mammal (Mammalia)
Range: Originally in Mexico and the Southwestern United States, now only allowed to inhabit the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in east-central Arizona and west-central New Mexico.
Habitat: Woods, scrub, and grassland
Lifespan: Up to 13 years in the wild, 16 years in captivity
Wild Diet: Primarily elk, also deer, rabbit and other small mammals
Zoo Diet: Mazuri Exotic Canine diet, rabbits, horsemeat, chicken
Similar to other species of gray wolf. Lives in packs and communicates with scent marking, body posturing, and vocalizations such as howling.
Both male and female take part in raising the young. Pups are born blind and deaf; weighing approximately 450g (1 lb) they gain as much as 3 lbs per week for the first 14 weeks. After 11 days, the eyes open and are blue in color until they become gold between 8-16 weeks. Teeth begin to erupt at 15 days and the young receive meat regurgitated by adults, weaned by 8-10 weeks of age. Body and coat begins to resemble an adult's at around 4 weeks old, sexual maturity occurs by 22 months.
Gestation: 63 days
Litter: 1-11 (average is 6)
Conservation Status: Endangered
- Another name for the Mexican subspecies is 'lobo.'
- There are 5 subspecies of gray wolf, but the Mexican subspecies is notable for being the rarest and most genetically distinct.
- After becoming essentially extinct in its native range for many years, this endangered subspecies was re-introduced in 1998 and there is now an estimated population of 40-50 individuals in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Mexican wolves are all females from the same litter. Their names are Catori, Sarita, Una, Aprecia, Nancita and Mitzi.