Missing Mexican wolf found in New Brighton

A Mexican gray wolf that's been missing from a wildlife center since Monday was found in a northern Twin Cities suburb.

The wolf was spotted by a police officer in New Brighton, and officials from the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake were able to tranquilize and net the animal at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, said Joy Fusco, administrator of the Wildlife Science Center.

Fusco said the center's executive director and other staff were on their way back to the center. They planned to examine the wolf to see if she was still healthy after spending four days in the wild.

The wolf was first discovered missing Monday morning after someone apparently broke into the building Sunday night and pried open the gate.

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The center immediately asked for help in searching for the wolf, and several sightings had been reported in the past few days.

"It's quite a relief," Fusco said, adding that the center's plan was to keep looking for the wolf until she was found.

"Our biggest fear was that she'd get shot or hit by a car or something like that. Of course we'd find her, but the question was would it be too late," Fusco said.

The Wildlife Science Center has been trying to breed the endangered animals in captivity.

The Mexican gray wolf is native to the southwestern United States, and staff at the center had worried the wolf might not survive the cold Minnesota weather for long.