Photo of the Day #31: Mexican Wolf


Wolves are among my favorite carnivores, but they're often shy even in zoo settings, making them difficult to photograph. During my visit to the National Zoo this past spring, however, this Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) came down to get a drink from the pool at the edge of the enclosure, allowing me to snap a few photos. Not everyone likes wolves as much as I do, though, and the Mexican Wolf is currently critically endangered with only about 200 individuals left in the wild. As with other wolves, this subspecies (ranging from Mexico across the southwestern U.S. and as far north as Colorado) was eliminated by the middle of the 20th century by hunting, the current population of wild individuals being reintroduced during the last decade or so.

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In winter in the Lamar valley in northern Yellowstone the wolves are often out posing well. You need a good telephoto cause they are usually a Kilometer or more from the road, but they are often out in the open. My favorite spot in winter when the X-skiing is good.