Wildlife officials have captured the wolf called Asha, or f2754, who made her way north of Interstate 40 and, last week, was roaming near Taos.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Monday in a press release that, in accordance with current policy, Asha was trapped and could be transferred back down to the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area.
The Fish and Wildlife Service’s current permit requires that any wolf that leaves the experimental population area be captured and returned either to the experimental population area or possibly transferred into captivity or into Mexico.
Asha is currently residing at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility where wildlife officials hope to pair her with a male wolf. The pair will then be transferred to Mexico later this year.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says Asha and her future mate will provide “more value to the Mexico population.”
This decision comes after wildlife advocates sent a letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service asking for Asha to be allowed to remain roaming in northern New Mexico. These wildlife advocates say I-40 is an artificial boundary and that wolf populations should be allowed to expand northward.
Asha left the experimental population area on Jan. 2.
The Fish and Wildlife Service says because it is breeding season for wolves and Asha was in an area with no other known wolves, there was a high potential for conflict or breeding with domestic dogs.