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Swipe Left: Officials Recapture Asha – The Fiercely Independent Wolf Who Just Does Not Want To Mate

A team of biologists has once again captured Wolf 2754, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Officials have been tracking the wolf, nicknamed Asha, since she left the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) for the second time. The wildlife sanctuary covers parts of New Mexico and Arizona, and aims to revitalize the local population of Mexican wolves. 

According to an earlier press release, Asha left the area in January, about a year after her birth. From there the wolf headed north towards Taos. Later that month, wildlife officials captured her. The press release says they brought Asha back for her protection and hope she will breed with another wolf to increase the species’ population. 

wolf 2754 asha
Wolf 2754’s location, according to her tracker. (Source: USFWS)

This past fall, Asha once again fled the MWEPA and headed north through New Mexico. Officials waited for her to return. However, two months went by, and her tracking collar showed no signs that she would turn around.

Recapturing Wolf 2754

Wolf 2754 after she captured the first time she left. (Source: USFWS)

Eventually, FWS decided to recapture Asha and bring her to another facility where she’ll have a male partner.

“Our decision to capture F2754 was made out of concern for her safety and well-being,” said Brady McGee, Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator in their press release. “Dispersal events like this are often in search of a mate. As there are no other known wolves in the area, she was unlikely to be successful, and risked being mistaken for a coyote and shot. By pairing her with a carefully selected mate in captivity, we are hoping she will breed and have pups this spring. The best outcome for her is to be released back into the wild, where she and her offspring can contribute to Mexican wolf recovery.”

If all goes as planned, wildlife officials will return Asha to the wild in the spring or summer of 2024. Researchers hope she’ll bring puppies along with her.

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