Photos: 9 Mexican pups born at Brookfield Zoo Chicago

Nine Mexican wolf pups were born at Brookfield Zoo last month!

The pups were born on April 27, and as part of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, seven of the pups were relocated to New Mexico. There, they are being fostered by two wild Mexican wolf packs.

"As part of our ongoing collaboration in the Program, we were thrilled to once again be able to contribute to this year’s fostering of pups," said Mark Wanner, associate vice president of animal care and conservation at the Zoo. "We are extremely proud to be a part of this effort and share its success with our guests and hopefully inspire them to also care about these magnificent creatures that play an important role in the ecosystem."

The two additional female pups that were born in the litter will remain at Brookfield Zoo.

Though the pups are currently in a den with their mother, guests will be able to see them in the coming weeks at the Regenstein Wolf Woods habitat.

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Brookfield Zoo Chicago said the Mexican wolf is the rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America.

In May 1976, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) added the species to the Endangered Species List, and from the 1980s until 1998, when reintroduction efforts began, Mexican wolves were considered extinct in the wild.

According to the 2023 population census conducted by USFWS, wild Mexican wolf numbers saw another year of growth, marking the eighth consecutive year of population growth.