Release ‘Guardian the Wolf’ Back Into the Wild

Target: Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region

Goal: Return Guardian the wolf to his pack to help maintain his struggling species.

In the summer of 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured Guardian, one of a tiny number of Mexican gray wolves still living in the wild. And Guardian isn’t just one wolf — as his name suggests, he’s the alpha male of a pack that includes young pups who rely on him and his mate for food. Capturing Guardian and placing him in captivity puts their survival, and the survival of the entire species, in jeopardy. The Fish and Wildlife Service must recognize the damage they’re doing and release Guardian immediately.

Mexican gray wolves were almost driven to extinction during the 20th century and, by the millennium, they were believed to have been wiped out in many regions of North America. Efforts to reintroduce the animal at the turn of the century have slowly begun to show progress, but the species remains critically endangered, with experts suggesting that fewer than 100 currently exist in the wild. Until recently, one of those was wolf M1396, named Guardian by Albuquerque schoolchildren as part of a competition to name the 17 pups born in 2014. Guardian lived in Gila National Forest, New Mexico, as part of the Luna pack, a group of wolves that included his mate and their pups.

Life is not easy for Mexican wolves, so when local ranchers started abandoning dead cattle on land near his hunting grounds rather than disposing of them responsibly, Guardian soon learned to scavenge from their carcasses. From this, he also learned to hunt cattle: a reliable source of meat to feed his hungry pups. Under pressure from ranchers keen to maintain their profits, the Fish and Wildlife Service moved to stop this predation by capturing Guardian and keeping him in captivity, just as they had with his brother, Century, in the past. This not only deprives his pups of his protection and care, but may drive his mate to begin hunting cattle too, in a desperate bid to feed her young. With no indication of Guardian’s condition or current whereabouts, it’s vital we maintain pressure on the Fish and Wildlife Service to reverse their decision and release Guardian back in to the wild. Please sign below to demand that Guardian is immediately released to his pack.


Dear Dr Tuggle,

In 2016, you captured wolf M1396 in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico, and took him into captivity in response to him preying on cattle. In so doing, you removed him from the Luna pack, depriving his pups of a key source of food and placing intense pressure on his mate to support her growing young. This pressure could mean she is forced to hunt cattle herself in order to sustain them, or may even result in the pups receiving insufficient nutrition and dying of starvation.

I appreciate that you are under pressure from local ranchers to control the wolf population in a manner that does not interfere with their ongoing profits. However, removing Guardian from his family places the whole pack in serious jeopardy, and with fewer than 100 Mexican gray wolves remaining in the wild, the loss of a single pack could be catastrophic for the entire species. Accordingly, I call upon you to reverse your decision and release Guardian back into the wild to help maintain the survival of his species.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jean Beaufort

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  1. Mary Smith says:

    Read this petition and STOP EATING MEAT!!! Species are being killed to extinction to “protect livestock”. Livestock raised for slaughter (meat) are grazing on public lands. These lands were FIRST home to the wild animals that are now being captured, hunted down and killed by humans to protect livestock. This cycle will continue as long as the demand for meat exists. I doubt Guardian the Wolf remains alive. Capturing Guardian to keep him from killing livestock for food for himself, his pups and the entire pack, then allowing him to live in a cage somewhere? Highly unlikely.

  2. Tracy Joseph says:

    Mr. Tuggle

    The world is changing…People are beginning to see the error of their ways regarding the farming and consumption of meat and it’s detrimental effects on predator species, the environment and hence the the entire ecosystem at large. It is unacceptable to allow a species to become extinct because farmers need to make a profit. Profit is not or rather shouldn’t make the difference between the right of existence of an animal who have lived in an area for hundreds of years. We are no longer cave men who simply devour meat and animal products because we hunt and other options are not available…We are intelligent people who understand that modern farming, transportation and killing of animals Are not only cruel and unnecessary but the detrimental effects burdened on the environment, world hunger, water consumption, animal species depletion and CO2 emissions are a serious call for us to look at our eating habits and unselfishly deny ourself meat and animal products to ensure our children and the next generations have an inhabitable planet. To do anything else would be incredibly selfish and to continue denying these facts dangerously self serving and hard headed

  3. Renee Risser says:

    Again, the ranchers are not content with removing our wild horses, now they want every predator wiped out. Beef consumption has dropped considerably. Please return the alpha to his family so we don’t completely wipe out another species when it is wholly within our power to save them.

  4. Kae Blecha, OTR says:

    I wonder what Dr Tuggle’s doctorate is in? I doubt that it’s wildlife management. This smells of either incompetence or back-room dealings.

  5. Those Fish and Wildlife f***ers ought to shoot THEMSELVES, g.d. lowlifes. JUST read all about these wolves the other day, and the whole sordid history of what man did to them makes me SICK! SCREW the g.d. ranchers and their self-serving BS. Both they and F&W are scum!

  6. Blinded by greed humans
    Our animals suffer
    They the animals must be elevated
    they are too precious
    Being the wolf family back together
    They need each other
    All the wolves work together to look after and feed their pups
    They are a tight unit
    Help them

  7. tera tukey says:

    Stopped eating eat a long time ago…so these wild animals don’t have to be murdered as a excuse to save cattle for feeding humanity.

  8. Leave the wildlife to be just that, wild and free. Cage yourself up if you must cage someone. Knock yourself out.

  9. Lisa Allred Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared❗️?

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