Blanca, January 25, 1894
Northeastern New Mexico
Seton, the wolf hunter, set traps with his usual cunning, concealing them in the usual way so that Lobo would find and disable them as was his habit. He set out six steel leg traps near a freshly killed cow. He removed the head and tossed it casually aside. There he planted a devious booby-trap. He buried two traps under the dirt by the head, knowing that wolves would not eat it, and knowing that Lobo would not approach, but betting that one of the others might investigate while Lobo busied himself disabling the other traps.
Seton returned the following morning to see if this trick worked. The head was gone along with one of the traps, dragged away by a strong but trapped wolf. He followed the trail catching up within a mile to find Blanca still in the trap and hopelessly dragging the heavy steer head behind her. Lobo was with her running alongside. He would not leave her. He called her to follow, and led up the side of the hill to the mesa. She did follow for a time, until the horns of the big beef caught in the rocks and held her. Despite her terrible situation, Blanca turned to fight with the last of her strength, howling for Lobo, who howled in return, but could do nothing against men with guns. "Just then, up came the sun, and shone full on her. I saw now what a beautiful creature she was - pure white. I used my camera, and made the lasting record given." (Trail of an Artist-Naturalist - the autobiography of Ernest Thompson Seton; pg 336, Charles Scribner´s Sons, NY 1941). Seton killed her in a manner he came to regret.
He returned to the ranch with her body. All night the canyons reverberated with the plaintive cries of the bereft Lobo. "It was sadder than I could possibly have believed" Seton recalled. Lobo prowled about the ranch in the dark.
The photographs of Lobo and Blanca were later used by Seton to symbolize the extermination of wolves from the southern plains. It was this event in which Seton began to realize he had killed "his kindred" in cold blood.
Lobo and Blanca were Texan wolves (Canis lupus monstrabilis). Canis lupus monstrabilis was originally described as a different wolf subspecies. But later genetic analysis demonstrated it belonged to Canis lupus baileyi, Mexican wolf, and so it was accepted in 1983 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.