F522 Manilita - In Memoriam

F522 Manilita Mexican Gray Wolf photo by WJ Wheaton

Shortly after the 2016 new year arrived, Mexican gray wolf F522, Manilita, passed away. 

She was once, for a short time, “Blue Free.”  Blue Free is the location shown for those fortunate few Mexican wolves living free and wild. 

In January 2000 she was chosen for release with the alpha male of the Campbell Blue pack, but she interacted first with hunter’s dogs and then with ranch dogs, and was captured and removed from the wild.  She arrived at Southwest Wildlife in November of 2000, and lived the remainder of her life at our sanctuary. 

Half McBride and half Ghost Ranch lineage, this tough old girl was born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado on May 3, 1997. 

In 2015, before her 18th birthday, she became the oldest Mexican wolf ever.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wolf Recovery personnel and the Studbook Keeper for the Mexican Wolf confirmed that Manilita broke the previous record of 17 years and 3 months of known aged Mexican wolves.  When she died she was 18 years and 8 months old – a remarkable age!

Manilita lived most of her years with her long-time mate George, M728, who passed away a few months before her, in the Fall of 2015.

The moment of her passing was marked by all the Mexican wolves at Southwest Wildlife with a wolf song.  She was a special wolf.