In 2004 the WCC was accepted into the Species Survival Plan for the critically endangered red wolf (canis rufus). There are fewer than 300 red wolves in the world making it one of the rarest mammals in North America. The WCC is home to five red wolves. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is restoring red wolves to a portion of their traditional range in the southeast United States. Prior to reintroduction the red wolf was extinct in the wild. Two of our resident red wolves occupy one of the enclosures in the WCC Endangered Species Facility. These enclosures are private and secluded, and the wolves are not on exhibit for the public. The WCC’s second red pack is on exhibit in the Red Wolf Exhibit which opened in October of 2009. For the first time ever visitors to the WCC are given the opportunity to see this rare an elusive species.
On May 6, 2010 Wolf Conservation Center staff discovered that our on-exhibit red wolf breeding pair had puppies! “Mama Wolf” F1397 and “Papa Wolf” M1483 welcomed their very first litter of pups sometime very early on Thursday morning. The litter consists of 2 wolves, both male and each no larger than a Russet potato. With about 300 red wolves in the world, these pups are a valuable addition to a critically endangered species.