The red wolf pups are ready to greet their fans!! The six pups, who were born on 5/22/14, spent their first month sleeping, eating and growing and rarely left the nest box.
Now that they are almost two months old, the youngsters have become much more active and are happily exploring their surroundings. The four male and two female pups are spending less of their time sleeping and zoo visitors are able to see them wrestling and playing in the exhibit throughout the day.
These pups are the first of their species born at the Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo and are a very important addition to the highly endangered red wolf population. Fewer than 400 red wolves exist in the world – currently an estimated 100 in the wild and around 200 in the captive breeding program. The red wolf is an example of a species that was saved from extinction due, in part, to the captive breeding efforts of AZA zoos.
Red wolves were once common throughout the southeastern United States but suffered from loss of habitat and intense predator control practices. When they were listed as endangered in 1973, The US Fish and Wildlife Service took steps to save the species. The last remaining 14 wolves were captured and the Red Wolf Recovery Project was begun. The NEW Zoo, along with 28 other AZA Zoos, has partnered with the USF&WS to assist with captive breeding to ensure a genetically healthy wolf population. Thanks to these efforts, a small breeding population has been re-established in the wild and captive bred red wolves continue to be released.
Your NEW Zoo is proud to participate in this and many other Species Survival Programs for endangered animals. Be sure to stop by frequently to watch the red wolf pups as they grow! While it is impossible not to laugh at their goofy puppy antics, take a moment to reflect on how important these little wolves are and to give yourself some credit for your support of the NEW Zoo – with your help, we are making a difference!