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Mexican wolves caught in traps in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Environmentalists are raising concerns about trapping on public lands after four Mexican grey wolves were caught in traps on national forest land in southwestern New Mexico over the last two months.

Defenders of Wildlife said Tuesday one of the endangered predators died and another was placed in captivity and had its leg amputated. The two others were re-released into the wild.

The group says more than 40 have been caught in traps in the Southwest since 2002.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The wolf management team this week is conducting an annual survey of the wild population in New Mexico and Arizona.

While licensed trapping of other furbearing animals is legal, some New Mexico Democrats are pushing this legislative session to ban the practice on public lands.

Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press