Hey folks, I’m back to reviewing Mexican wolf depredation investigation reports and sifting through another few hundred pages of blood, guts, bones, and grammatical errors, and today I found these two from Apache County, Arizona in May 2020: AC 5-27-20 3, AC 5-27-20 4.

Both of the reports are about really young dead calves, estimated to have been killed 6 – 12 days prior, in close (~20 yards) proximity to each other. There were no wolf tracks near either scene, but “It was reported that a wolf was seen in the area the previous day.” Notwithstanding the fact that the kill occurred well before the wolf was reportedly seen, or that only coyote tracks and scat were found at the scene, these two calves were confirmed as having been killed by Mexican wolves.

And I won’t post the pics here but if you are so inclined to check them out at the docs linked above, do those photos look like bite marks or hemorrhaging to you, or might it just be some blood pooling up in the limbs after sitting for 6-12 days? And what’s with the scraped-off fur being measured in the second photo of the second file? Maybe the caliper points looked more damning in person? Dunno. I’m no expert, but it seems a little less than conclusive.

And here’s the thing: we don’t know whose ranch this is or which wolves were blamed for these May 27, 2020 calf kills near Vernon, Arizona. But this removal order (https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/pdf/20200615DecisionMemo.pdf) for M1441 cites two 5/27/20 calf kills on non-federal land (the two deps linked here are identified as having occurred on state land), so it would seem to fit. And since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service killed M1441 for his alleged crimes against cattle, I hope damn sure that the other incidents listed in that removal order have better evidence than these two.

To be continued…


About The Author

Greta Anderson

Greta Anderson is a plant nerd, a desert rat, and a fan of wildness. She is the Deputy Director of Western Watersheds Project and lives on the land of the Tohono O'Odham and Yaqui people in what is now called Arizona. Greta's opinions and world views are not necessarily reflected in the posts of other authors on this blog.

5 Responses to Mexican wolf depredation investigations …. again

  1. Maggie Frazier says:

    So – when will the current administration get around to correcting the wrongs that have been and are being done? The BLM continues to roundup herds, read today that the next victims are burros – and again here still the wildlife services crap goes on. I was hopeful for change & I realize how much NEEDS to be changed top to bottom. But the animals being wiped out are going to be gone then what.

  2. Linda says:

    Great reporting on this. When they invoke a removal is there no due process involved so that pro-wolf groups can get involved? Also, how do they know they are removing the wolf that allegedly did the kill and not some other wolf that did not kill? Why do wolves get killed for trying to stay alive and why doesn’t the government just reimburse the rancher for damage done instead of full throttle kill? I get so mad about this.

  3. Tamara Bedic says:

    M1441 was a tripod male.

    Please explain how he left no paw prints, no scat, but killed two calves on his three legs.

    • Rich says:

      Tamara makes very good point. If M1441 was surviving on three legs it is unlikely he would be the culprit. The USFWS should be required to explain their actions. How do we make that happen?

    • Maggie Frazier says:

      That certainly sounds unlikely! The fact he was no longer traveling with his family? So on his own, with 3 legs, he took a yearling calf?????? Isnt it time for some oversight finally?


April 2021


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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