Rare Red Wolf Born in Captivity Could Help Restore Endangered Species

Red Wolf Endangered

A rare red wolf was born in captivity at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Kentucky on May 2, 2014. This female pup could one day help restore the red wolf endangered species.

The new female pup is just now emerging from her den and stretching her legs followed by two very attentive parents. She will remain with her parents for at least 18 months and then be transferred to a zoo or nature center to start her own pack.

“As she gets older and braver, the little pup will become more visible. Right now she is still hard to see,” commented Darrin Samborski, facility manager for the Nature Station in a news release.

The endangered red wolf cub is being raised in partnership between the Red Wolf Recovery Program and Land between the Lakes. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife service has selected Land between the Lakes and other five sites out of 40 for the project.

John Pollpeter, lead naturalist at Land between the Lakes’ Woodlands Nature Station, shared that there was a time when the red wolves used to dominate the southern ecosystem. But between hunting and habitat destruction, there has been a significant decline in their population.

“Coyotes and humans are direct competitors for resources with the shy red wolf. They can only exist in areas where both are low in population,” said Pollpeter.

“Currently in the south there’s only one or two locations that you’ll find red wolves. There’s a small island in Florida and then there is a peninsula in northeastern North Carolina”, said Pollpeter.

There are currently about 100 red wolves in the wild and 200 red wolves in captivity in the United States.

The Nature Station has been involved with the Red Wolf Recovery Program since 1991.

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