Friday, December 12, 2014

Red Wolf Homecoming!


 Early one morning in May of 2010, red wolf F1397 quietly gave birth to two beautiful boys, M1803 and M1804 (a.k.a. “Moose” and “Thicket”). Thanks to our webcams, a global audience enjoyed watching the elusive boys grow up and then joined our celebratory howls when both wolves were chosen to embark on new adventures beyond the WCC’s boundaries.

Red wolf M1804 received the “call of the wild,” and was released on an island off the Florida peninsula. M1803’s adventure kept him closer to home, he was transferred to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo where he struck a love connection and fathered 3 daughters!

The fruitful couple now require larger accommodations so with open arms the WCC welcomes back M1803 with his new lady and kids! With an opportunity for these parents to breed this winter, we hope M1803’s daughters get some siblings this spring. We invite you to meet the family of five as they live on exhibit to educate WCC guests about the importance and plight of their rare species.

The red wolf is one of the world’s most endangered wild canids. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960s due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. A remnant population of red wolves was found along the Gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana. After being declared an endangered species in 1973, efforts were initiated to locate and capture as many wild red wolves as possible. Of the 17 remaining wolves captured by biologists, 14 became the founders of a successful captive breeding program. Consequently, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980.

By 1987, enough red wolves were bred in captivity to begin a restoration program on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. Today an estimated 90-100 red wolves roam the wilds of northeastern North Carolina and another 200 or so comprise the captive breeding program, still an essential element of red wolf recovery. The WCC is currently home to seven red wolves, 9-year-old F1397 and her new 7-year-old companion M1566, living on exhibit is 4-year-old M1803 and his family of females. We invite you to watch this beautiful pack via our LIVE webcam!
Red wolf M1803 (all grown up) on WCC's LIVE webcam

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