Watermelon opens new clinic and wellness
Watermelon is pleased to announce the
opening of their new Spay-and-Neuter Clinic and Wellness Center
and thanks everyone who provided funding to make this clinic
a reality. This facility will provide services to all of the
Watermelon animals, Rio Rancho Animal Control, and many other
shelters and private breed-specific rescue groups. They will
not be providing this service to the public.
Watermelon welcomes Dr. F. Schlesinger
from Long Island, New York, as Chief Medical Officer for the
Clinic, with services also provided by Dr. R. Blake and other
The staff at Watermelon Mountain Ranch urges you to help them
get control of the unwanted pet population and see your personal
veterinarian to have your animal spayed and neutered.
A fed bear is a dead bear
—NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND FISH
Dry weather and hungry bears are a bad combination in areas
where population centers are expanding into bear country,
and as residents of Santa Fe and Albuquerque discovered last
month, bears are the losers in almost every encounter with
Early on a Wednesday morning, a young male bear was struck
and killed by a car on Interstate 40 east of Albuquerque.
The following Tuesday, another young bear had to be tranquilized
and removed from a residential neighborhood in south Santa
Fe. Biologists with the New Mexico Department of Game and
Fish were not surprised by the incidents and warned that this
spring’s very dry conditions in the high country may
force more bears into towns in search for food.
“If the state continues to be dry, there’s a
distinct possibility we’ll be seeing more visits from
bears as they range farther for food this year,” said
Rick Winslow, the department’s large-carnivore biologist.
“We’re already seeing the familiar signs: dumpsters
overturned, trash spread into the hills, dogs barking all
night. And it could increase later when the fruit trees come
on in the valleys.”
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish encourages everyone
to follow some simple precautions that can minimize the chances
of unwanted encounters with bears. Take a quick walk around
your property and remove any bear attractants, such as pet
food, grills, and unsecured trash cans. In years of severe
drought, it may be wise to drain fountains and pools that
are not only drinking sources, but also become bear bathtubs.
If you see a bear or have a problem bear visiting your residence,
please contact your local Department of Game and Fish conservation
officer. Officers will respond to most complaints, especially
if there is a public-safety concern. Sometimes, however, residents
will be advised to bring children and pets inside, and usually
the bear will leave within a few hours.
The Department of Game and Fish is working with local authorities
to better manage trash collection to reduce potential conflicts
around dumpsters. In Raton, for example, the city has agreed
to pick up trash twice a week and residents are encouraged
not to place garbage in the dumpsters until pickup days. This
reduces the amount of time trash is available to bears.
The best way to handle problem bears is to help them stay
wild by removing anything that may attract them. Remember,
a fed bear is a dead bear. People who make food available
to bears are in effect training the bear to return again and
again to that food source. It is a learned behavior that often
is impossible to break, and in many cases is fatal to the
bear. In New Mexico, problem bears are tagged the first time
they are trapped and relocated. If they have three serious
encounters with humans, they are killed.
Five Mexican wolves to be released in Gila
—NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND FISH
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will assist in
the translocation of five federally endangered Mexican Wolves
in the Gila National Forest within the next three months as
part of the department’s continued participation in
the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program.
The department’s recently hired wolf biologist, Saleen
Richter, will assist with the releases and ensure they are
conducted according to current restoration rules and with
close interaction among the department, other agencies, and
landowners and livestock operators in the release areas. Richter’s
involvement is part of the department’s added commitment
to work more closely with people in wolf release and restoration
“We are aware of the need for caution in releasing
wolves that have been captured elsewhere,” Richter said.
“It is important that we work to release wolves that
will adapt to their new surroundings without conflict.”
Two wolves—a male and a pregnant female—will
be released in the eastern side of the Blue Range Recovery
Area in late April, just prior to birthing, to increase the
likelihood the wolves will remain in the area. The site was
selected because the release was acceptable to the owners
of the closest private land and the current grazing permittee.
The site also is a considerable distance from the San Carlos
Reservation, where the wolves were removed in 2005 because
of boundary issues.
In June, two female wolves and one male wolf will be released
in one of four approved sites within the Gila Wilderness.
The females were captured in the Gila National Forest in 2005
as pups, when the Francisco Pack was removed from the area
because of livestock-depredation issues. The male was captured
outside its boundary in 2005 following a single depredation
incident. The exact release site of the three wolves will
be determined after other wolf packs have established dens,
to maximize the distance between the translocated wolves and
Under the rules of the wolf restoration program, Mexican
wolves can be released in New Mexico only if they previously
were released in Arizona and have experience in the wild.
Existing rules prevent direct releases of wolves into New
Mexico that have not been previously captured for management
purposes. Requirements to remove all wolves outside of the
Gila and Apache National Forests at the request of the landowner
continue to result in a supply of previously captured wolves
for relocation into the Gila Wilderness and surrounding areas.
The participating agencies in wolf reintroduction developed
recommendations to address these limitations during the project’s
five-year review, and are waiting upon response from the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service regarding implementation of those
An official end-of-year count in 2005 documented the wolf
population to be at least thirty-five to forty nine endangered
Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico since the federal
wolf reintroduction program began, in 1998, according to the
Mexican Wolf Adaptive Management Oversight Committee, which
includes representatives of federal, state, and county agencies.
To view the wolf distribution map, which contains the most
recent three months of wolf locations taken from aerial surveys,
please visit the Arizona Game & Fish Web site, www.azgfd.gov/wolf,
and scroll to the Distribution link on the Mexican Wolf Conservation
and Management page.
People interested in the interagency Mexican-wolf project’s
monthly status report can receive it via e-mail at no cost
by logging onto the Arizona Game and Fish Department Web site,
azgfd.gov/signup, and filling out the appropriate information.
Conference examines link between animal
abuse and domestic violence
The third annual Governor’s Conference on the Link Between
Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence will be held on June 12
from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Albuquerque. The focus of this
year’s conference will be Year of the Child. Studies
in psychology, sociology, and criminology clearly show that
violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent
histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. Children
often witness animal abuse by batterers who will target animals
to demonstrate power and control over the family.
The conference seeks to educate and train people from various
antiviolence organizations on the cycle of violence in our
society impacting both people and animals. Additionally, the
conference aims to promote and facilitate cooperative action
within New Mexico’s communities so that we can respond
promptly to incidents of animal cruelty and human violence
and assist all victims immediately.
The keynote speaker is Dr. Ken Shapiro, codirector of the
Animals and Society Institute, who will speak on the AniCare
Child model, an assessment-and-treatment approach for childhood
animal abuse. AniCare Child is the first published treatment
approach to focus exclusively on juvenile cruelty to animals.
The conference is free and open to the public. Those who
work with children and animals are encouraged to attend. The
event is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Public
The conference will be at the UNM Continuing Education Center,
1634 University NE, Albuquerque. To register, call 505-660-5609
or e-mail email@example.com
to request a conference flyer and registration form.