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The World’s Rarest Pups

Marlin & Carol Perkins

Red Wolf Pup Exam

Nine Pups Born to Three American Red Wolf Pairs at the Endangered Wolf Center

Hope comes in many forms, but possibly its cutest form is a tiny wolf pup emerging from its den for the first time.

In the spring of 2022, the Endangered Wolf Center welcomed nine additions to our pack – all American red wolves born in three different litters, all to first-time parents.

The most endangered wolf in the world, the American red wolf is a beautiful animal native to the entire Southeastern United States, including Missouri. But sadly it can now only be found in and around North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. With fewer than 20 left in the wild, each pup born here offers important genetics to a critically endangered population. Some pups may even have the opportunity to run free in the wild someday.

Director of Animal Care and Conservation at the Endangered Wolf Center, Regina Mossotti, sits on the US Fish and Wildlife Service National Red Wolf Recovery Team and is also the head of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums American Red Wolf SAFE Program (Saving Animals from Extinction).

“The Endangered Wolf Center recently constructed two new, large, off-exhibit red wolf breeding habitats. We are so excited to see these habitats doing exactly what they were built for – growing our ability to save this critically endangered species.

 

We can’t thank our donors, supporters, and volunteers enough for helping make this possible. These pups are this species’ hope for the future.” Regina Mossotti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation

By collaborating with these organizations and many others, the Endangered Wolf Center has been a leader in conserving this species since 1980. Within this collaborative effort, wildlife biologists pair wolves together based on their genetics to help strengthen the genetic diversity of the populations both in the wild and in managed care.

Three Match-Making Success Stories

In 2020 the EWC received two brothers, Reid and RJ. Reid was paired with Aster, a small female with a beautiful red coat. In 2022 RJ was paired with Aster’s sister, named Witch Hazel.

Aster and Reid are now parents to three boys that were born on May 17th. The healthy pups are now venturing out of their den and are on our tour route, so some of our lucky visitors have seen them playing, nursing, or bouncing through the tall grasses of their natural habitat.  

Witch Hazel and RJ had five pups – one male and four females – on May 2nd. During the filming for an episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom – Protecting the Wild, host Peter Gros joined our Animal Care team to check on the pups for their seven-week veterinary exam and vaccinations. All five pups were healthy and cuddled together in their den.

Aster and Reid are now parents to three boys that were born on May 17th. The healthy pups are now venturing out of their den and are on our tour route, so some of our lucky visitors have seen them playing, nursing, or bouncing through the tall grasses of their natural habitat.

Puppy Exam and Vaccinations

 

In 2021 we received a new female, Cirilla from Lincoln Park Zoo. Cirilla is paired with a handsome and shy red wolf named Ash who came to us from Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium’s Northwest Trek.

Ash & Cirilla

 

Cirilla and Ash had one female pup that was born on April 25. These first-time parents dug a natural den and kept their pup well hidden from the eyes of our team until one day in June, the pup emerged from the den! You can imagine our excitement to discover this secret pup that mom and dad were so carefully protecting. These are great natural skills we like to observe in our recovery species.

Like all wolf species, red wolves are naturally shy and avoid humans – even our Animal Care team. And that’s just how we want them to behave. Maintaining their natural instincts may one day help them to survive in the wild, which is why our team avoids any close contact with them other than the necessary veterinary care.

How You Can Support Our New Red Wolf Parents

1. By making a donation to support their care and our conservation work to save the American red wolf.

2. By symbolically adopting our pack of red wolves – when you do, we’ll keep you up-to-date on all of these important new families.

3. Name a pup with a $2,500+ donation. Contact [email protected] to name a pup.

Adopt Red Wolf Pack

 

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American red wolves are amazing creatures! Check out these adorable pups from the Endangered Wolf Center: https://www.endangeredwolfcenter.org/blog/worlds-rarest-pups