Speaker Series: Journey Into The Wild – Aug 29th

Posted by on Jul 20, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Speaker Series: Journey Into The Wild – Aug 29th


The Story of Mexican Wolf Pups and Their Historic Cross-Foster

Join Regina Mossotti, carnivore biologist and director of animal care and conservation at the EWC, as she shares the adventures of fostering Mexican wolf pups into the wild. Relive the pups’ journeys as you hear about the creative science and collaboration that made it all possible, including the whirlwind of logistics (such as flying on a plane with wolf pups!), hiking in the mountains, wild fires…

Experience the challenging world of endangered species conservation – the heart of the wild – as you visit Mexican wolves Mack, Vera and their puppies and learn how the EWC is making a world of difference for the future of Mexican wolves.

The event will be held at the Learning Living Classroom at the Endangered Wolf Center on Thursday, August 29th from 6-8 p.m.

Speaker Series: Journey into the Wild with Regina Mossotti




Join our 2019 Polo Benefit

Posted by on Jul 17, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Join our 2019 Polo Benefit

Due to the excessive rainy season this Spring, the McGehee Polo Field at Spirit Valley Farms is too soggy to safely host our annual Polo Classic on June 8 – so we’re moving the date to Saturday, September 14. We hope you’ll join us for a beautiful Fa ll event! (If you’ve already purchased tickets for the June 8 date and can’t make the September 14 date, please call the EWC office at 636-938-9306.

Join us for the annual Endangered Wolf Center Polo Classic on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 3 p.m. This year will be a Garden Gala, presented by the Beckmann Family Charitable Trust. Enjoy a day of delicious food and drinks while watching an exciting polo match at the McGehee Polo Field in Chesterfield, MO.

McGehee Polo Field at Spirit Valley Farms
(Wild Horse Creek Road at Tuma Ln.)
17899 Wild Horse Creek Road
Chesterfield, MO 63005

For a $600 donation, you’ll enjoy private cabana seating and an artisan picnic for four people. A $300 donation includes an artisan picnic for two with shared cabana seating. Sponsorships are available. For tickets or sponsorship information, call the EWC at 636-938-9306.

Download Sponsorship Kit Download Flyer


Highlights from our last Polo events:

Pints for the Pack Fundraiser with Mackenzie Brewing Co.

Posted by on Jul 13, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Pints for the Pack Fundraiser with Mackenzie Brewing Co.

Mackenzie Brewing Company is a small batch brewery specializing in Belgian and High Gravity Beers. Their brewery and tasting room is just a few miles up the road from the Endangered Wolf Center.

In a neighborly fashion, they’re helping us host our first annual Pints for the Pack fundraiser to benefit the wolves and other wild canids here at our Center. (We’ll drink to that!)

This truly unique adults-only evening begins with FREE BEER* from Mackenzie Brewing accompanied by an informative program on wolf communication. After this, you and your Endangered Wolf Center hosts will howl with the wolves!

Bring a few of your own friends and neighbors and join us Saturday, September 21 from 7-9 p.m. for craft beer and a Howl with the Wolves. Admission is $21 per person. Cheers!

“Pints for the Pack” Mackenzie Brewing Campfire Howl

*Visitors must be 21 years old or older. Call 636-938-5900 for more details or to reserver by phone.
 Pints for the Pack with Mackenzie Brewing

Virginia Busch Appointed CEO for the EWC

Posted by on Jul 8, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Virginia Busch Appointed CEO for the EWC

ST. LOUIS, MO: To further growth efforts at the Eureka, Missouri-based Endangered Wolf Center (EWC), Virginia Busch will transition from executive director to Chief Executive Officer, overseeing strategic planning, conservation initiatives, donor development and marketing. The EWC has begun a search for a new executive director who will focus on the day-to-day operations of the Center, and in conjunction with Busch will work to expand the organization and its mission through outreach, on-site programming, donor development and environmental leadership.

Busch joined the EWC as executive director in 2012, during which time it has grown significantly in size as well as revenue. The nonprofit organization is considered the cornerstone of wolf conservation in America, having earned a global reputation for breeding endangered wolves and other canids, leading husbandry research and participating in releasing wolves in the wild as part of the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s recovery programs, recently making history with two successful cross-fosters in Arizona and New Mexico. In fact, every Mexican gray wolf in the wild can trace his or her roots back to one place – the Endangered Wolf Center.

But the successful recovery of an endangered species is a constant challenge, and Busch intends to expand the work of the EWC. “While the essential role wolves play in the health and sustainability of an ecosystem is undisputed scientifically, fear and misconceptions about wolves and other top predators are old storylines that take effort and persistence to shift. I plan to concentrate on changing that narrative through conservation initiatives and partnerships, along with increased outreach beyond traditional environmental channels.”

Founded in 1971 by Marlin and Carol Perkins, the Endangered Wolf Center has worked to preserve and protect Mexican wolves, red wolves and other wild canid species, with purpose and passion, through carefully managed breeding, research, reintroduction and inspiring education programs. The Center is a non-profit organization located near St. Louis, Mo. Open to the public, the EWC is a one-of-a-kind destination for conservationists and animal lovers alike. Through their participation in education and outreach, visitors not only contribute to the Center’s conservation efforts at home but also in the places where Mexican and red wolves live in the wild.

In addition to her role at the Endangered Wolf Center, Busch contributes to conservation and animal welfare at home and abroad as a National Council and board member for World Wildlife Fund, board member for Wild Earth Allies, and the Humane Society of Missouri.

Job Opening: Receptionist

Posted by on Jul 1, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Job Opening: Receptionist

We’re looking for a receptionist to join our team.

Organization: Endangered Wolf Center (AZA Member)

Location: Eureka, Missouri, United States

Job or Internship: Job

Job Description: Receptionist

Reports to: Guest Relations Manager

Job Summary:

Responsible for answering phones, booking reservations, greeting guests as they arrive, processing payments and other duties as assigned.

This is a part-time, 16 hour-per-week position that will work two days each week (Tuesday and Wednesday). Those days will remain the same each week.


• Serve as the “voice of the Center” to people who call. Provide excellent customer service when answering the phones and communicating with guests.

• Process reservations, process payments, take messages, answer questions and more.

• Perform other duties as assigned by the Guest Relations Manager.

Required Qualifications:

• Some College.

• Customer service experience.

• Ability and willingness to be flexible with tasks.

• Ability to use a computer.

• Willingness to master our online reservation system.

• Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc) and Google programs (Gmail, Sheets, Docs, etc).

• Flexible schedule.

• Willingness to participate in our Docent training course if not already completed.

• Able to establish and maintain good working relationships with other

To apply please send cover letter and resume to [email protected]

Due to the volume of applicants, phone calls will not be returned. Those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted before July 30, 2019.

Job Opening: Educator

Posted by on Jun 15, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Job Opening: Educator

We’re looking for an Educator to join our team.

Organization: Endangered Wolf Center (AZA Member)

Location: Eureka, Missouri, United States

Job or Internship: Job

Job Description: Educator

Reports to: Education Supervisor

Job Summary:

The Educator will be responsible for successfully executing programs as scheduled, as well as filling in for other staff members at programs as assigned.
This is an hourly, full-time position, with a fluctuating schedule. Evenings and weekends are required. The work schedule will be subject to change; but will be presented to the Educator one week in advance. We anticipate this position to average about 40 hours a week, but this could change based off of business and will fluctuate with events and busy seasons.


• Successfully execute all assigned programs, including PredaTours, private tours, scout programs, field trips, birthday parties, evening howls, outreaches and other programs as assigned.

• Participate in the care, handling and training of all the Education Department’s ambassador animals.

• Perform other duties as assigned by the Education Supervisor.

Required Qualifications:

• Professional, can-do attitude.

• Ability to work a fluctuating schedule.
• Willingness to be flexible.

• Captivating and dynamic personality.

• Experience with educating groups of people, both children and adults.

• Willingness to participate in our Docent training course if not already completed.

• Able to establish and maintain good working relationships with other departments.

Preferred Qualifications:

• College Degree

• Wildlife or Conservation Education Experience

• Possess a current Drivers’ License

To apply please send cover letter and resume to HR at [email protected].

PUPDATE: Welcome Our Latest Additions to Our Pack!

Posted by on Jun 6, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on PUPDATE: Welcome Our Latest Additions to Our Pack!

This puppy season has certainly been one for the record books!


Let’s recap – so far this year we have welcomed 23 African painted dog pups, 15 Mexican wolf pups, two maned wolf pups, four swift fox kits, and now… drumroll please!! 🥁

Now we are celebrating the birth of eight American red wolf pups, born in two litters in April and May! There are six males and two female pups and they are OH. SO. CUTE.



The American Red Wolf


American red wolves are the most endangered wolf species in the world, with fewer than 30 wolves left in the wild and around 200 found in the captive breeding program. These new additions to our pack are small now, but they will have a BIG impact on the survival of their species!

The Endangered Wolf Center has played an integral role in saving the red wolf. We have bred a total of 45 critically endangered red wolf pups since their survival program began in the 1980s.



A strikingly beautiful animal, the red wolf is a different species from its gray wolf cousins, and notably smaller, weighing an average of only 65 pounds.


The American red wolf is truly a national treasure – they are the only large carnivore species that is solely native to the United States.


Historically, red wolves were found throughout the Southeastern United States, with wolves found as far west as Texas, including Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois. The last red wolf seen in the wilds of Missouri was in the 1950s. Now, red wolves can only be found on the coast of North Carolina.

Red wolves were declared extinct in the wild in 1980, due to predator control programs, poaching, hybridization with coyotes, loss of habitat, and disease from domestic dogs. Over forty zoological and conservation institutions across the country have come together in an effort to save red wolves.

These institutions are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP), housing more than 230 red wolves.



We are proud that in 1982, we welcomed our first litter of red wolves! One of those pups, an amazing female named Brindled Hope, was introduced into the wild in North Carolina, and became the first reintroduced red wolf to give birth in the wild.

And so her legacy began. A legacy that started an innovative effort to recover a species that was almost lost to the pages of history.

Today, many of the red wolves now roaming in North Carolina’s wild territory can trace their roots back to the Endangered Wolf Center.


Behind the Scenes of Saving an Endangered Species


Preparing a wolf to be introduced into the wild takes a lot of work – and a lot of space. The large habitats here at the EWC offer red wolf release candidates a chance to hunt, an opportunity to acclimate to larger land areas and the ability to experience little human interference.

Our dedicated Animal Care Staff perform necessary veterinary health exams and provide everything the animals in our care need to thrive, breed, and nurture their young.



To preserve their natural shyness, access to humans is limited, although visitors may observe the pups in their habitat from a distance during a tour.


A Bright Future for Our Pups


These eight new red wolf pups will remain at the EWC for two years or more with their parents and siblings, after which they may be sent to other facilities for breeding.

They offer hope for future reintroduction initiatives that will help save this species.



Since we have the space to keep multigenerational packs, these pups will only leave the EWC when they are ready to start their own packs. The SSP will take their unique genetics into account when pairing them to breed at the EWC or at other zoological facilities.


They represent hope for their species and an opportunity to balance our natural ecosystems here in the United States.


This balance impacts all living things – including humans! We rely on the delicate balance of nature and by reintroducing a keystone species like the American red wolf, we play our part in helping our environment get back on track.


What You Can Do to Help


Creating awareness is vital in saving endangered species. By examining the root cause of their plight in the wild, it is clear to see that misunderstandings and myths of their behaviors and species have taken their toll.

Sharing your knowledge is an excellent way to help! Small actions make a big difference.

Volunteering with wildlife organizations like the EWC, donating to fund conservation programs, and doing your part to live sustainably impacts our natural world.

These adorable red wolf pups are also available for adoption through our Adopt-A-Wolf Program. Adopting “parents” receive:

  • 1-year membership to the Endangered Wolf Center
  • Personalized Certificate of Adoption
  • Biography and color photo of your animal
  • Bi-annual updates about the adopted animal
  • Plush animal of the adopted species
  • Free Endangered Preda-Tour for four people
  • Discounts at the gift shop and selected program
  • An invitation to a Members’ Day appreciation event
  • An annual magazine subscription
  • Reciprocal membership privileges at select Zoos and Aquariums nationwide

By symbolically adopting our red wolf pack, you are playing an important role in securing the future of these endangered animals. We thank you for deciding to do something, even the tiniest action, to be an advocate for wolves and wild places whose ecosystems depend on them.


Adopt Red Wolves Make a Donation

Mexican Wolf Pups Fly to Their New Forever Homes!

Posted by on Apr 25, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Mexican Wolf Pups Fly to Their New Forever Homes!

Mexican Wolf Pups Fly to Their New Forever Homes!

Puppy season is officially in full swing! And it is one for the history books!

We are happy to announce that last week, we were able to foster six critically endangered Mexican wolf pups into two different wild packs!

This is the first time six pups have been fostered at one time.

Fostering (sometimes called cross-fostering) is a technique where wolf pups from one litter in human care are placed with another litter in the wild in hopes that the wolf mother will adopt the additions as her own.

Fostering wolf pups is possible because wolves are such wonderful parents.


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

Adopt Mexican Wolves

Fostering is kind of a big deal. Why?

I’m going to grow up WILD!

Placing pups from managed care into a wild litter not only increases the population size in the wild, but also provides crucial genetic diversity to improve the overall health of a critically endangered population.

Bonus points: Now these pups will have wild parents with wild experience and an established territory to teach them how to survive in their new homes. 

The experience that their foster parents and new pack will teach them will help them to grow up and, hopefully, become a successful leader of their own family someday.

Fostering is a relatively new technique for the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and the Endangered Wolf Center has played an integral role in  developing this important conservation tool.

Not only does Mossotti manage the EWC’s foster events, she also serves as the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan Pup Foster Advisor, where she assists U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and institutions in the Species Survival Plan on their fostering efforts to ensure that they are successful.


The Plight of the Mexican Wolf

With fewer than 150 individuals left in the wild—mostly found in Arizona and New Mexico—these six pups born at the EWC represent vital new genetics.

You see, once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, extermination programs and habitat loss have led to a dramatic decline. Scientists later learned how important these keystone species were to keeping an ecosystem balanced and healthy. Because of this, in the late 1970’s, an effort was launched to save the Mexican wolf.

The last remaining wild Mexican wolves were captured by U.S. Wildlife Service in an effort to save them.

This meant they were extinct in the wild. Let that sink in.

The seven remaining Mexican wolves were brought into managed care to begin the breeding and recovery program. The last wild caught female, Nina, was brought to the Endangered Wolf Center, where successful breeding efforts grew the population.

In 1998, the first Mexican wolves were released back into the wild in Arizona and New Mexico, where that population has grown to 150 Mexican wolves today.


Wake me up when we get to my forever home.


This week, we added six pups to that wild population.

Six might not sound like a lot, but when numbers are this sparse, each and every pup counts. Genetic diversity is critical to the survival of any endangered species, because it reduces inbreeding, giving this population a better chance for healthy pups.


Overcoming all Odds

Extreme terrain and logistics make fostering challenging.

Mexican wolves are native to the alpine region in New Mexico and Arizona, where scouring for dens in the mountainous terrain is difficult.

Rachel Crosby, EWC Animal Keeper, takes a rest on the arduous journey to the wild wolf dens. She carries all 6 puppies on her back! See their little faces?!

Then, there is timing.

Wild and captive litters have to be born within a few days of one another, and the transfer from a zoological facility to the wild has to occur before the pups are 14 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. 

“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.”





This particular operation almost stopped in its tracks, due to lightning and severe thunderstorms in the St. Louis area on the day of the foster event.

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 six pups flew to Arizona, accompanied by Regina Mossotti, EWC Director of Animal Care and Conservation, Erin Connett, EWC General Curator and Rachel Crosby, EWC Animal Keeper.













“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. “Collaboration is key to successful conservation and we are proud of our partnership with the Service working to re-wild Mexican wolves.”



It All Comes Full Circle

This year, several wild packs denned at the exact same time as the pack at the Endangered Wolf Center. Vera (mother) and Mack (father) at the EWC had a litter of nine healthy pups (male pups “Boomer”, “Victor” and “Max” and female pups “Dianne”, “Winnie” and “Laura”).

Having a large litter offered the opportunity to take six pups and place them into two different litters born in the wild. “It is rare to have litters match up, but to have several at once was very exciting!” said Mossotti.

Both the Prime Canyon Pack in Arizona and the Frieborn Pack in New Mexico had a litter at the same time as Vera and Mack.



This foster effort offered another historic first. The Mexican Wolf Fostering Program started a few years ago in hopes of saving this critically endangered wolf, and this year was the first time a foster has happened with a pack lead by a wolf that was a previous foster.

Meaning, “Blaze”, a pup born at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, was a foster himself three years ago.

His wild foster parents raised him successfully and he has grown into a successful leader of his own pack, and has become a wonderful father.

He is now the alpha male of the Prime Canyon Pack in Arizona. And this year, he and his mate had seven pups.

The EWC added one pup to his litter for a total of eight pups. We are keeping our fingers crossed for this family as their little ones grow.

“Conservation needs multiple tools in the toolbox to work, and we have a new and very effective tool to use to help save Mexican wolves.” said Mossotti. “Knowing that fostering is working, that pups are growing, and helping this endangered population become stronger and healthier is a huge accomplishment. Knowing that these pups’ howls will be heard in the wilds of the American southwest…well, that is one of the most incredible feelings.”

Adopt Mexican Wolves Make a Donation

Celebrate National Trails Day with our REI Hike June 1st

Posted by on Apr 17, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Celebrate National Trails Day with our REI Hike June 1st

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, join us as we celebrate National Trails Day.

We’ll hike from the campfire, through the woods, up to the cave and back to the campfire for snack and beverages. Thank you to REI for donating mini subs and chips after the hike, and to Nature Valley for their granola bars before and after the hike. Drinking water will be available but please bring your own water bottle to fill for this green event.

While the hike is approximately 3 miles, it’s a moderate trail, with a good size hill, wear your hiking shoes! Everyone is welcome, but please leave pets at home.

The gates open at 9:15 a.m., you will be able to mingle and enjoy an educational table with staff from 9:15-9:45 while people are arriving and the hike starts promptly at 10:00 a.m. (No admittance after 10:00 a.m.)

The price is $10 per person and includes a snack and water!

For reservations call 636-938-5900 or book online.

National Trails Day

Speaker Series: Famed Biologist Dr. Rasmussen Apr 4

Posted by on Mar 22, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Speaker Series: Famed Biologist Dr. Rasmussen Apr 4

Growing up painted dog: How packs in the wild teach their pups to survive.

Painted Dogs Speaker SeriesMeet the Endangered Wolf Center’s 23 painted dogs puppies and hear world renown African painted dog biologist, Dr. Greg Rasmussen discuss the unique way that African painted dog packs care for their pups. Ensuring the pups’ survival takes every member of the family to help, but it is not without challenges in the harsh African wild.

“They have an incredible social system,” Dr. Greg Rasmussen describes the African painted dog packs he has studied in Africa. “There’s no hierarchy, no fighting, no leadership struggles,” he said. Dr. Rasmussen, founder of the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT), has been researching painted dogs in the wild for over 20 years.

African painted dogs are one of the most endangered species in Africa. Once native to all sub-Saharan Africa, there are now less than 6,000 left and their numbers are declining due to poaching, loss of habitat and the introduction of domestic dog diseases. PDRT is an organization that is dedicated on saving African painted dogs in Botswana and throughout Africa through research and community outreach.

This event is a fundraiser which will benefit the African painted dogs (especially the 23 pups that were just born) at the Endangered Wolf Center. Also, a portion of the proceeds from this evening will help support the Painted Dog Research Trust to help with conservation in the wild. Cost per ticket is $50. Please call 636-938-5900 or go to the link below to make your reservation. Seats are limited, so make your reservations today!

Booking Options