A North Carolina zoo has welcomed three litters of red wolf pups, marking a dozen new members of the world’s most endangered wolf species.
The wolves were born over a three-day period in late April and are part of the zoo’s red wolf breeding program, the organization said in a press release.
“All cubs and their mothers are healthy and doing well. This is the first time in the zoo’s breeding program that triplets have been born in one spring,” the zoo said in the statement.
Next month, the zoo plans to announce a public poll to name a litter.
With the addition of the new cubs, the zoo’s breeding program now numbers 36 red wolves, making it the second largest pack in the United States after the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash., he says in the press release. Are.
“These births are important because many of our wolves, once mature, have been transferred to other breeding packs to help bring this species back from near extinction. Our hope is that more wolves Will be able to rejoin the wild soon.” Red,” said Reed Wilson, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, red wolves began to decline in the United States due to intensive predator control programs and habitat loss, and were eliminated “in the early 20th century”. The service began conservation and recovery efforts in the late 1960s.
To date, the service estimates that there are about 25 wolves in the wild and 278 in captivity.
According to the zoo, all wild wolves are found in eastern North Carolina.