EWC Staff Speaks at Key Wolf Conservation Seminar

Posted by on Jun 28, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on EWC Staff Speaks at Key Wolf Conservation Seminar

Regina with famed Georgian wolf biologist Dr. Jason Badridze (left), his daughter Dr. Nino Badridze, Regina, and famed canine behaviorist Nelson Hodges (right).

Regina with famed Georgian wolf biologist Dr. Jason Badridze (left), his daughter Dr. Nino Badridze, Regina, and acclaimed canine behaviorist Nelson Hodges (right).

Regina Mossotti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation for the Endangered Wolf Center, recently participated in Wolf Behavior, Dynamics & Conservation, a fundraising seminar in Midland Park, New Jersey with renowned Wolf Biologist Dr. Jason Badridze. During the seminar Regina discussed historical and recent efforts to save and repatriate the Mexican Gray Wolf and other species of endangered predators; she also addressed the critical need for apex predators in the North American landscape.

The seminar was followed by a “Mexican Fiesta for Mexican Wolves” to support recovery and conservation of the Mexican Gray Wolf where more than $5,000 was raised to help support the Endangered Wolf Center and the California Wolf Center.

Thanks to Regina for representing the EWC – and the wolves – so well!

REI National Trails Day a sell-out success

Posted by on Jun 18, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on REI National Trails Day a sell-out success

REI Hike Group Photo

When we asked some of our friends, followers and supporters to take a hike, they did just that – and what a day it was.

We’re talking about National Trails Day of course, which was Saturday, June 2. The fundraising event was a sell-out, with 90 people from all ages and walks of life walking in the woods at the Endangered Wolf Center on behalf of the animals in our care.

The rain didn’t dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm, and the sun came out just in time for hikers to meet some of our resident animal ambassadors like Cooper, a rare, black red fox who soaked up the attention. Cooper is what biologists call a melanistic animal, meaning that he’s all black because of an excess development of the black pigment in his skin.

Hikers were also treated to a catered lunch by Bravo, and live music by local singer-songwriter and guitarist Joey Ferber. A special thank you to our raffle sponsors Mission TacoKaldi Coffee of Chesterfield, REI and Andy’s Frozen Custard.

Next spring, if we give you a call and tell you to take a hike, say “YES!” and come join us for this annual outdoor event. It’s a fun way to mingle with fellow animal lovers as we all work to preserve and protect endangered wolves and the wild places that depend on them.

Below are some highlights from our hike.

Four EWC wolf pups make cross-fostering history

Posted by on Apr 25, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Four EWC wolf pups make cross-fostering history


The Endangered Wolf Center, United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Interagency Field Team—which is made up of biologists from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, USDA Forest Service, USDA Wildlife Services, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe—collaborate to fly four 10-day-old pups born at the Center from St. Louis to their new families in the wilds of New Mexico and Arizona in the first ever double foster.

The Endangered Wolf Center flew four critically endangered Mexican wolf pups to Arizona to be cross-fostered by two different wild packs (one in Arizona and one in New Mexico) on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. This historic collaborative effort between the Endangered Wolf Center staff, the Fish and Wildlife Services and its partners represents the first time four pups born in captivity have been “adopted out” to two different packs in two different states at the exact same time.

Mexican wolf pups during health exam before flight

Mexican wolf pups during health exam before flight.

“Saving species requires creativity and breakthroughs in conservation techniques,” said Regina Mossotti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation at the EWC, “and this double foster was a great example of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the EWC and the states working together to seize a unique opportunity to help Mexican wolves.”

Cross foster wolf pup health check in Phoenix Airport by FWS vet Susan Dicks and EWC team.

Cross foster wolf pup health check in Phoenix Airport by FWS vet Susan Dicks and EWC team.

Cross-fostering is a technique where wolf puppies from one litter are placed with another litter in hopes that the wolf mother will adopt the additions as her own. Placing pups from captivity into a wild litter not only helps increase the population size in the wild but also helps increase genetic diversity. It is also a wonderful way to have wild parents (with an established territory and experience) raise and teach the pups how to survive.

Fostering is a relatively new technique for the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. With fewer than 150 individuals left in the wild—mostly found in Arizona and New Mexico—these four pups born at the EWC on April 9, 2018 (male pups “Benny” and “Grenville” and female pups “Spirit” and “Belinda”) represent vital new genetics needed for a critically endangered population.

Endangered Wolf Center team Sarah Holaday and Kim Rutledge on Arizona Game &Fish plane flying to wild dens

Endangered Wolf Center team Sarah Holaday and Kim Rutledge on Arizona Game & Fish plane flying to wild dens.

Extreme terrain and logistics make fostering challenging, and the timing has to be just right. Wild and captive litters have to be born within a few days of one another, and the transfer from captivity to the wild has to occur before the pups are fourteen days old. “Everything has to line up…the stars, the sun, the moon, and the planets all have to align to make a foster happen,” said Mossotti. “The timing of the birth of wild pups has to be within a few days of our pups…to say nothing of the logistics. There are weather considerations, flights and travel, personnel, locating wild dens, securing funding—all pieces of the puzzle have to come together very quickly to get this done.”

All four pups before release during vet check in the recovery are

All four pups before release during vet check in the recovery area.

This operation almost stopped in its tracks, due to high winds and a wildfire in Arizona. Overcoming the logistics and managing the shifting and potentially dangerous conditions on the ground make the success of the Endangered Wolf Center, the USFWS, and Arizona Game and Fish’s efforts all the more remarkable.

The four pups flew to Arizona, accompanied by Sarah Holaday, EWC Animal Care Staff and Kim Rutledge, Executive Director of the Wildlife Rescue Center. “Our staff members are experts, and they did an incredible job making sure that these precious pups stayed safe, warm and well-cared for on their journey to the wild,” said Virginia Busch, Executive Director of the Endangered Wolf Center. “The Endangered Wolf Center is proud of our efforts to collaborate to grow the conservation success for the endangered species the EWC is working to save.”

FWS biologist Alison Greenleaf examing pups at wild den before foster credit Endangered Wolf Center

FWS biologist Alison Greenleaf examing pups at wild den before foster credit Endangered Wolf Center.

This year, several wild packs denned at the exact same time as the pack at the Endangered Wolf Center. Sibi (mother) and Lazarus (father) at the EWC had a litter of seven healthy pups. Having this large litter offered the opportunity to take four pups and place them into two different packs litters. “It is rare to have litters match up, but to have several at once was very exciting!” said Mossotti.

Endangered Wolf Center team with pups on their back ready to hike to wild den in New Mexico

Endangered Wolf Center team with pups on their back ready to hike to wild den in New Mexico.

Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona New Mexico Border Pups new home

Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona New Mexico Border Pups new home.

Spirit and Grenville were fostered into the Elk Horn Pack in Arizona. Elk Horn had five pups, growing to seven with the new additions. Benny and Belinda were fostered into Frieborn Pack in New Mexico, growing their six-pup litter to eight.

“The Endangered Wolf Center has been working for almost 50 years to help make breakthroughs in conservation for endangered canids. And efforts like this double foster are examples of how conservation for the Mexican wolf is moving in a positive direction!” said Busch.

Celebrate with us by making a donation to continue our wild efforts.

Donate Now



Celebrate Lucky’s First Birthday May 6

Posted by on Apr 19, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Celebrate Lucky’s First Birthday May 6

The Lucky Number is One

Lucky’s Story
They grow up so fast! It was just one year ago that the Endangered Wolf Center welcomed maned wolf pup Lucky to our pack – and she’s been winning hearts ever since.


Her story is one of surviving and thriving. Born at Zoo Boise to a mother who was unable to raise her litter, Lucky was the only surviving pup. The EWC was asked to step in because of our experience fostering other species of canids, and at just two weeks old, Lucky flew home to St. Louis where she’s been raised as an animal ambassador for her species. (For the complete story of how Lucky came to live at the EWC, go to our Meet Lucky post.)

Today, with the collaboration of the Saint Louis Zoo veterinarian team, the Wildlife Rescue Center and the Animal Clinic of Clayton, at one year old, Lucky has grown from less than a pound to nearly 55 pounds and is thriving. And she’s already winning hearts with her dynamic personality. “She’s a strong pup,” says Regina Mossotti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation at the EWC. “She’s a fighter – a survivor. And very intelligent, too! She outsmarted her foster puppy brothers and sisters, figuring out puzzles much faster, and showing great curiosity, she loves to explore everything!”

Lucky Cute

Lucky’s unique situation and her sweet personality make her the perfect ambassador for her species. Never before has a maned wolf been available for an up close experience to educate the public about the plight of her unique species. Lucky and the staff at EWC are happy to tell her story, which is not only heartwarming, but an example of the critical conservation efforts at the EWC to help preserve and protect endangered species.

The Celebration
As is customary for families with babies turning one, the EWC is planning a birthday party for Lucky – not only to commemorate her first birthday, but to celebrate her survival! Of course, Lucky will make an appearance at her party, during which we’ll celebrate with a “cake” (one for Lucky and one more suitable for our guests!), birthday card and presents. There will also be party games, live music, photo opportunities, craft projects and more during the party.

Lucky 11-months

Lucky 11 months

The Details
The celebration is on Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri. Space is limited, so if you’d like to help us celebrate, give us a call today at 636-938-5900; reservations are $25/person.

Birthday Presents for Lucky
Can’t attend the party but you’d like to help? Visit our Amazon Wish List and send Lucky a birthday present! Or make a donation in honor of Lucky on our website or on GiveSTL Day, Tuesday, May 2 at A generous supporter of the EWC will match all donations!

Booking Options


Regina and Lucky on plane

Regina & Lucky

About maned wolves

– The maned wolf is the tallest member of the canid family, but it is not a true wolf. It is in its own unique genus, and more closely related to an ancient canid.

– Maned wolves are nicknamed “fox on stilts” for their leggy build and fox-like features.

– This South American native roams a range extending from the Amazon in Brazil to the dry shrub forests of Paraguay and northern Argentina.

– Unlike most wolves, these gentle, timid animals typically live alone, except to breed.

– The maned wolf is threatened with extinction in its native habitat. This is due to loss of habitat—grasslands being converted to crops or grazing pastures.

– The introduction of dog diseases, and also a belief that some of its organs have medicinal healing powers have also led to maned wolf population decline.


Hike with us on National Trails Day June 2

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Hike with us on National Trails Day June 2

Join us National Trail Day Celebrate the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day on Saturday, June 2, 2018 by joining us for a 4-mile hike through the Endangered Wolf Center.

We’ll hike from the gatehouse down Igloo Road, up to the cave and back to the campfire for lunch – stopping to howl with the wolves along the way – then we’ll visit with one of our ambassador animals! While the hike is approximately four miles, it’s an easy trail, and everyone is welcome.

EWC National Trail Day

The gates open at 10 a.m.and the hike starts promptly at 10:30 a.m. (No admittance after 10:30 a.m.) The price is $10 per person and includes lunch and live acoustic music!

For reservations call 636-938-5900.




EWC Partners with BarkBox to Help the Wolves

Posted by on Apr 9, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on EWC Partners with BarkBox to Help the Wolves

Bark Box

We’re happy to announce a partnership with BarkBox, the monthly subscription service that sends all-natural dog treats and clever toys to spoiled dogs everywhere!

We know our friends and EWC members are animal lovers whose family members include dogs, so we thought you might be interested in lending us a paw…

When you sign up for a new subscription using our code SAVEWOLVES or by going to, BarkBox will donate $25 to the EWC for every new subscriptionand you’ll get 50% off your first box!

We thank you for your support of the EWC – and your dog will thank you for BarkBox!

Learn more about BarkBox

Celebrate International Lobo Week

Posted by on Mar 26, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Celebrate International Lobo Week

Join us as we celebrate International Lobo Week, March 25-31, 2018.



Twenty years ago this week, 11 captive-born Mexican wolves (knownas lobos) were released into the wilds of New Mexico and Arizona for the first time since they were nearly eradicated in the early twentieth century and officially declared and listed as endangered in the 1970s.

In 1976, three years after the passage of the Endangered Species Act, the lobo was listed as an endangered species. With just seven Mexican wolves, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined with several zoological institutions to begin a captive breeding program to save this wolf from extinction. On March 29, 1998, the first wolves were reintroduced in the Blue Range Recovery Area in New Mexico and Arizona: after more than 30 years, one of the rarest mammals on earth returned home to the mountains of the southwest.

To commemorate this reintroduction, the EWC and many other organizations around the world are celebrating Lobo Week and raising awareness of the plight of the Mexican wolf. But unfortunately, despite 20 years of recovery efforts, the Mexican wolf is still critically endangered.

Every lobo that exists in the wild today can trace its roots back to the Endangered Wolf Center, which is located right here in St. Louis!



In 1971, beloved zoologist Marlin Perkins and his wife, Carol, joined with a group of individuals to found the Endangered Wolf Center in an effort to address the serious plight of wolves at risk of extinction. Our visionary founders knew what scientists have recently confirmed: no ecosystem can thrive without its keystone species in place.

Through carefully managed breeding programs, inspiring educational programs and innovative methods for introducing releasable wolves into their native habitats, the EWC set out to change the fate of endangered canids.

And for more than 45 years, we’ve been doing just that. Today our nonprofit organization is considered a cornerstone of wolf conservation in America. We hope you’ll join us – this week and beyond – in our celebration of the lobo.


Mack & Vera

Mack & Vera

Meet Vera
Vera is a 4-year-old female Mexican wolf who came from Mexico to be paired with Mack, a male Mexican wolf. They got along very well and had their first litter of pups (3 girls and 1 boy) in Spring 2016. Two girls from that litter were part of the first efforts to foster pups from managed care into a wild litter. Last year Vera continued to make history when she gave birth to a little male pup named Nashoba, who is the first successful Mexican wolf pup born using frozen/thaw semen artificial insemination.

Mack has been a wonderful foster father. Nashoba’s biological father (Luis) is fifteen years old and lives at the Living Desert in California and Nashoba is his only offspring




Celebration at the EWC
The EWC will be celebrating International Lobo Week with special events on our grounds. From March 24 – 31, we’ll offer public tours on Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturday that will focus on our Mexican wolves, during which visitors will have an opportunity to write a “Wolf Wish” and receive a commemorative Lobo Week sticker.

On Sunday, March 25, the EWC is hosting a special Wolves, Wine & Yoga Howl, and our last Campfire Howl of the season will be on Saturday, March 31. We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the lobo – and all of the canids in our care here at the Endangered Wolf Center.

Schedules  &  Booking


Animal Keeper Internships Open

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Animal Keeper Internships Open

Unpaid Animal Keeper Internships are available year round with the Endangered Wolf Center, located in southwest St. Louis County at Washington University’s Tyson Research Center.

The Endangered Wolf Center (EWC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving endangered wolves and other canid species from extinction by educating people about their importance in the ecosystem and supporting their reintroduction into their native habitat through a combination of managed breeding and research.

Internships provide hands-on experience working directly with the animal care staff. Intern responsibilities include, but are not limited to, diet preparation, monitoring behavior and health of animals, creating and distributing enrichment, observing training sessions, as well as enclosure maintenance.

For complete information, please click the details button.

Animal Care Internship Details

Lucky, Daisy and Clay on TV!

Posted by on Feb 12, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Lucky, Daisy and Clay on TV!

Maned wolf Lucky, fennec fox Daisy and hognose snake Clay joined EWC Executive Director Virginia Busch on STL Live recently to talk about St. Louis’ best kept secret – the Endangered Wolf Center.




Support our new Education & Nature Center

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Support our new Education & Nature Center

We are excited to announce that we are planning for a new Education and Nature Center to meet our growing demand in educational programming.

We have secured the land, completed the architectural drawings and bids, and raised more than 48% of the necessary funds for construction of the building.

We invite you to partner with the Endangered Wolf Center by making a donation to help us begin construction in 2018. The building will serve as a much-needed venue for our onsite educational efforts.

Our Education Department provided programs to almost 45,000 people in 2017, an increase over 2016 (37,660) and continuing our growth trend (24,338 in 2013) in impact and numbers. Our education, tour and outreach goals are focused on providing STEM-aligned (K-12), curriculum-based, quality programs. Getting outdoors, hands dirty and immersed in nature will also continue to be an important element of our programs.

For a list of sponsorship opportunities, please click on the details link.

2018 Education & Nature Center Details