Puppy Shower

Posted by on Mar 3, 2020 in Blog | Comments Off on Puppy Shower

Due to current circumstances involving COVID-19, our Puppy Shower in now a virtual event! Same event, but enjoyed from your own home through a zoom link, which will be sent upon registration.

Join us as celebrate the cutest part of conservation – puppies!

You’ll meet one of our smallest residents, Daisy the fennec fox.

Then, play fun games as you learn about all things PUP – from our innovative ways to get pups into the wild to artificial insemination success stories!

You’ll learn how we care for these canid pups as they grow, learn & play!

Our wolf mothers are experts at caring for their young, but our Animal Care team needs supplies to ensure these endangered pups receive the best care possible.

That is why all proceeds from this event will help us prepare for puppy season.
We will also be accepting gifts from our “registry” that every (animal keeper of a) new mom needs!
Finally, you’ll have the opportunity to win attendance prizes.
Don’t miss this unique way to celebrate pup season with your animal-loving family and friends!
The cost of this event is:
$13/child (ages 4-14)
Member discounts:
$14 adult member

$11/child member (ages 4-14)


4th International African Painted Dog Conference

Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in Blog | Comments Off on 4th International African Painted Dog Conference


Due to current circumstances in the United States, we have rescheduled the International African Painted Dog Conference. The new dates are TBD in 2022. Thank you for your understanding.

The Endangered Wolf Center is proud to host the 4th International African Painted Dog Conference in 2022 (date TBD) at the Missouri Department of Conservation Powder Valley Conference Center. 

This conference brings together wildlife managers, biologists, conservationists and zoo professionals from around the world to enhance and improve the care of African painted dogs in managed care and to assist in field conservation in the wild.

African painted dogs are a vital species to ecosystem health, yet their numbers have dramatically declined across the African continent for the last several decades. The decline is due to poaching, accidental deaths (motor-vehicle strikes, caught in snares meant for other species, etc.), diseases transmitted by domestic dogs, habitat loss and lack of food resources.

The goal of this conference is to convene experts in the field with the focus of sharing knowledge, identifying conservation and research needs and working together to solve pressing issues to help save this endangered species.

Keynote Speaker: Chris Johns


Prior to receiving a Pollner Professorship at the University of Montana’s School of Journalism, Chris Johns was the National Geographic Beyond Yellowstone Program Leader.  Before that role, he served as Chief Content Officer, overseeing the expression of National Geographic’s editorial content across various media platforms. He was the ninth Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic magazine from January 2005 to April 2014. During his editorship Johns’ focus on excellence in photography, cartography and reporting was recognized with 63 nominations resulting in 23 National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors.  In 2008 Johns was named Magazine Editor of the Year and in 2011 National Geographic was named Magazine of the Year. 

Johns became a National Geographic contract photographer in 1985 and joined the magazine staff in 1995. As a photographer, he produced more than 20 articles for National Geographic, eight of which were cover stories. His defining images are of Africa. He has taken readers down the Zambezi River, examined the Bushmen’s ongoing struggle for cultural survival and provided important documentation of Africa’s endangered wildlife, including African wild dogs. He was named one of the world’s 25 most important photographers by American Photo magazine in 2003.

Register Here



Early bird registration by April 9th, 2021 is $175 and $215 after April 20th, 2020.
With the purchase of one full-price ticket, you will be admitted to the entire conference from May 10th through May 13th.



Saint Louis International Lambert Airport
10701 Lambert International Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63145
Code: STL
Phone: (314) 890-1333



Your hotel room also needs to be booked by April 9th to guarantee the group discount and room availability. If you need transportation to and from the conference, it can only be provided if you are staying at one of the three hotels listed below.


The two preferred hotels are:

Drury Inn

5 Lambert Drury Place 

Valley Park, MO 63088 

Phone: (636) 861-8300


Hampton Inn

9 Lambert Drury Place 

Drury Dr, Manchester, MO 63088 

Phone: (636) 529-9020 



If the above preferred hotels are booked, please use this hotel: 

Drury Inn

1088 S Hwy Dr, 

Fenton, MO 63026 

Phone: (636) 343-7822



Tentative Itinerary:

Day 1

11:30am-3pm Pre-conference tour at the Saint Louis Zoo: behind-the-scenes tour of the carnivore unit and AZA’s Reproductive Management Center.

6pm-8:30pm – Icebreaker at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House.

Day 2-3

International African Painted Dog Conference (being held in the Missouri Department of Conservation Powder Valley Conference Center).

Day 4

Final presentations and African Painted Dog Species Survival Plan Meeting.

Day 5

9am-12pm – Post-conference tour at the new Saint Louis Aquarium at Union Station. 



“The Center is honored to be chosen to host this prestigious conference,” stated Virginia Busch, the Endangered Wolf Center’s CEO. “A big part of our mission is to provide opportunities to share best practices, collaborate, and to encourage solution-driven methods to better conserve endangered canids.”

The Endangered Wolf Center has been part of the Association of Zoo’s and Aquarium’s African Painted Dog Species Survival Plan (SSP) since 2003. The Center’s Director of Animal Care and Conservation, Regina Mossotti, is a member of the African Painted Dog SSP Management Committee. The EWC recently celebrated two litters born in November 2018, just four days apart, totaling 23 pups.

In collaboration with Dr. Tammy Cloutier of Antioch University, the EWC conducted ground-breaking research on how nutrition affected pup development with these two litters. Not only does the Endangered Wolf Center assist with the breeding program and conduct research to grow the scientific community’s knowledge, the Center also assists conservation through public education programs. Through the EWC’s educational programs, including live webcams, the Center raises awareness to spur conservation action for this endangered species.


Call for Papers:
The 2022 International African Painted Dog Conference will be held in Saint Louis, Missouri, Date TBD, hosted by the Endangered Wolf Center. Attendees will be able to attend all presentations.

Submit Your Proposal Today!

The International Painted Dog Conference Program Committee is accepting abstracts/proposals for the 2022 Conference.

Deadline extended! A few of our presenters asked for an extension, so we are opening the extension to all. Please submit your presentation or poster abstract by March 8th, 2021 to Tracy Rein, [email protected].

Register Here

Valentine’s Wine & Chocolate Howl

Posted by on Jan 2, 2020 in Blog | Comments Off on Valentine’s Wine & Chocolate Howl

Love is in the air as breeding season begins here at the Endangered Wolf Center.

Join us on Saturday, Feb. 15th to learn the love language of wolves over wine & chocolate!

You’ll learn about our “celebrity couples” here at the Center and how their love is saving their species! Then you’ll take a sunset stroll for the chance to howl from the wolves!

This event is perfect for a unique date night or a fun Galentine’s evening! So whether you’re with your sweetheart or on the prowl with your pack, join us for sweet treats, wolves, and wine.

This is a 21+ event and tickets are $40 per person, which includes an assortment of wine, chocolates, and handmade treats. Reservations are required. 🥂

Call (636) 938-5900 to reserve your spot today or book online.

Register Here

Giving Tuesday 2019

Posted by on Nov 23, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Giving Tuesday 2019


Make a world of difference this Giving Tuesday by supporting the Endangered Wolf Center!




Generous matching donors will DOUBLE your donation on Giving Tuesday -help us reach our $201K goal.

Our animals’ native habitats are all over the world. Though for most of our species, these habitats are dwindling and wild populations are now threatened or critically endangered. The American red wolf, for example, has less than 20 individuals in the wild. We cannot let them go extinct on our watch.



When we conserve our wolves and other canids, we impact ecosystems and promote a healthy, balanced world for plants, animals, and ourselves!

Conserving species is hard work. Your donations directly help us feed our animals, care for veterinary needs, pay our dedicated staff, maintain our animal’s large habitats, and continue to educate the public about these endangered species.

Our Mission
To preserve and protect Mexican wolves, red wolves and other wild canid species, with purpose and passion, through carefully managed breeding, reintroduction and inspiring education programs.

Our Vision
Our vision is a world where endangered wolves and other wild canids exist and thrive in their native habitats, recognized and valued for their vital roles as leading members of a healthy ecosystem.

Do you share our mission?


Make a world of difference with us!

Howliday Celebration on December 28

Posted by on Nov 22, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Howliday Celebration on December 28

Join us on December 28 at the Endangered Wolf Center for a Howliday Celebration!

From 3:30-5:30 pm, visitors will make fun treats for the animals and watch them celebrate the season! After sunset, we will howl with the wolves!

This is an exclusive event limited to 50 people – sign up today! Prices are $25 for adults and $20 children. Please arrive by 3:15pm to check in.

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


Holiday Boutique Open House

Posted by on Nov 18, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Holiday Boutique Open House

Holiday Boutique Open House


Saturday, November 30 | 10 am – 5 pm

Here’s your chance to take care of your holiday shopping and help wildlife and wild places at the same time.

If you have friends, family, neighbors or co-workers who love nature and are passionate about conserving the places they call home, be sure to put the Endangered Wolf Center’s Holiday Boutique on your calendar for Saturday, Nov. 30. Our Celeste Ruwwe Gift Shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Gift Shop is stocked with hundreds of wolf- and nature-themed gifts. And all purchases go toward our vital mission of preserving wild canids like endangered Mexican wolves and red wolves, and our efforts to return them to the wild.

We have a wide variety of great gifts, including jewelry, T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, jackets, posters, books, holiday cards, 2020 puppy calendars, ornaments and plush animals. We’ll even have free refreshments that day.


Visitors to the Holiday Boutique on Nov. 30 can also take in special $10 mini-tours of our animal enclosures. Usually, visitors must make reservations for our daytime PredaTours and evening wolf howls. But on Nov. 30 only, no reservations are needed for a mini tour. Seven mini tours will be offered on the hour, starting at 10 a.m. The last mini tour will begin at 4 p.m.

If you can’t make it to Holiday Boutique on Nov. 30, our Gift Shop is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 pm daily, except Tuesdays, with no reservations required. The Gift Shop is also open during daytime tours and evening events on weekends.


Other than Nov. 30, reservations are required for daytime PredaTours and evening Wolf Howls at the Center. Call 636-938-5900 to schedule or to purchase a gift certificate for tickets – a great stocking stuffer. Visit the Endangered Wolf Center website at for tour times, prices and information.

Happy howlidays  from our pack to yours.

Cool New Junior Volunteers Opportunities

Posted by on Nov 12, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Cool New Junior Volunteers Opportunities

Our Junior Volunteers are an integral part of our operations at the Endangered Wolf Center!
Volunteer Wolf Center

This program is for teens who are interested in conservation efforts, educational programming, wolves and other canid species, or are looking to give back to the community. Our Junior Volunteer program has very flexible scheduling and has regular, as well as occasional, volunteering opportunities.

Opportunities for Junior Volunteers include:

– Creating enrichment for our animals.
– Helping with our special events, such as Wolf Fest.
– Assisting with education programs, including our PredaTours, scout programs, and birthday parties.
– Helping with evening programs, such as Wolf Howls and overnights.
– Assisting with summer camps.


– You must be between 14 – 17 years of age.
– Must be punctual, responsible, and have a willingness to learn new things.

How to Apply:

1. Fill out our online application by clicking here.
2. We will review your application and get back to you within 1 – 2 weeks.

Junior Volunteer Application

If you have any questions about our Junior Volunteer program, please contact Lauren Pickard at [email protected]

If you have a school group or club that is interested in volunteering as a group, please contact Lauren for a group volunteer application.

National Recognition for Our Mexican Wolf Conservation Program

Posted by on Sep 25, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on National Recognition for Our Mexican Wolf Conservation Program

National Recognition for Our Mexican Wolf Conservation Program

Endangered Wolf Center Receives Prestigious Award from the AZA



We are pleased to share the news that we have been honored to receive the Edward H. Bean Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums at its recent national conference in New Orleans.

The Edward H. Bean Award recognizes a truly significant captive propagation effort that clearly enhances the management of the species. The Endangered Wolf Center was recognized for our long-term work with Mexican wolves that “has produced multiple successful births that have a quantifiable impact on the sustainability of the species or subspecies.”



This is a tremendous honor and a testament not only to our dedicated staff, but to the commitment and unyielding support of our Board members and our many volunteers and supporters.

Winning this national, prestigious conservation award reinforces our standing as a world renowned conservation organization. Previous honorees include the Bronx Zoo, Minnesota Zoo, Vancouver Aquarium, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the Saint Louis Zoo — so we are indeed in lofty company.



In announcing the award winners, AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe said, “We are proud to honor the distinguished leaders in our profession for their outstanding accomplishments. Their contributions have inspired all within the zoo and aquarium community to advance AZA’s mission of creating a world where all people respect, value, and conserve wildlife and wild places.”

For more than four decades, our staff, volunteers and supporters have worked to create a Center recognized for not only our achievements, but our leadership role in the recovery of the endangered species in our care. 

YOU have been an important part of our success. Your commitment to wildlife conservation, and your ongoing support of our work with all of our canid species, enables us to be a leader in this most essential cause. 

Artist Designs Wolf Shoes to Support the EWC!

Posted by on Sep 16, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Artist Designs Wolf Shoes to Support the EWC!

Artist Ernie Moreno’s passion for animals has inspired him to create a special, wearable way to support our endangered species!

“I have been an animal lover my whole life, and wolves are one of my favorites because of their beauty,” says Moreno. “I could draw one of my favorite animals and help to bring awareness to the conservation and study of the wolves.”

Wolf Shoes can be ordered with original designs that are either Hand Drawn or Custom Printed. Hand Drawn shoes are 100% custom and original. Custom Printed shoes will be printed with original paintings created by Moreno for the Endangered Wolf Center. All designs are based on animals right here at the EWC!

These make great gifts for the animal lovers in your life! See all the design options and order your Wolf Shoes from

Four EWC wolf pups make cross-fostering history

Posted by on Aug 20, 2019 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




Currently offering only Private Tours, Virtual Tours, VIP Tours and Photography Tours. Reservation required. No walk-ups due to COVID. Learn More