The Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in the Apache National Forest has a new addition, with a male wolf being sent to the wild to replace an alpha wolf that was illegally shot and killed in 2012. The 4-year-old collared wolf, designated M1133, is reportedly adjusting very well to the changes in its environment, despite the wolf having been born and bred in captivity.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service brought M1133 to the release site on a snowmobile. The wolf was directly released from a transport crate upon arrival at the release site, as opposed to the usual practice of placing the wolf temporarily at a holding pen to acclimate.

With the release of the M1133 before the early-season breeding activities start, hopes are high that the new male wolf would be able to pair with the alpha female of the group, which was observed to not have paired with another male wolf since her pair's death in 2012, according to Pets Weekly.

Currently, the Bluestem pack consists of four collared wolves, including the alpha female and three pups that were born in 2012. The pack also has at least three uncollared wolves, which are alleged to be from previous litters.

As of writing, M1133 is reportedly adapting very well to the wild. Tracing him through his radio collar, field teams and biologists have been able to closely monitor the activities of the young wolf. So far, things seem to be going just fine.

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