Litter Of Endangered Red Wolves Born In The Wild For First Time In 4 Years!

Mar 03, 2023by Olivia Harper - F&F

A new litter of red wolf pups is bringing hope to the future of the critically endangered species! Continue reading to find out more.

Red Wolf LitterRed Wolf Litter

Image: USFWS

A Litter Of Red Wolf Pups Were Discovered Tightly Huddled In An Earthen Den!  

Six critically endangered red wolves were introduced into the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in coastal North Carolina! Different to other wildlife discoveries, no one brought these newborn wolves to the Outer Banks area as part of a program to recover a dying species… for the first time in four years, these red wolves were born there!

A few years ago, a red wolf rescue program by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was abandoned. Now, the discovery of the litter tightly huddled in an earthen den marks a significant revival for the program! Conservation groups have been informed that the tiny pups were in fact a red wolf litter and not coyotes, which are common in the refuge — how exciting!

Red Wolf PupRed Wolf Pup

Image: Gerry Broome / AP

What Is The Red Wolf?

The program later posted about the births in a Facebook post, saying, “This new litter is the first wild-born litter of red wolves since 2018… every generation yields a newborn hope for the red wolf…a cause for joy and celebration!”

Red wolves are a unique species. Despite their name, they can have a variety of coat colors including yellow, black, brown, grey, and red! Often the fur behind their legs and ears will have a reddish tint. They also have pointy ears and broad muzzles, wide heads, and long slender legs. When born, the puppies are tiny and their eyes are still closed. So cute! As they grow up, the entire pack will help in taking care of them and protecting them.

Red Wolf PuppiesRed Wolf Puppies

Image: North Carolina Zoo

Renewed Hope For The Critically Endangered Species

Ron Sutherland, chief scientist at the Wildlands Network, which fights to protect wolves, says “The red wolf hit rock bottom as a wild species… right as humanity was heading into the depths of the pandemic, the red wolf was nothing but a ghost of a species at that point, clinging to reality only by virtue of the 200 captive animals scattered in zoos across the country.”

He also said “When I saw the photo of those pups all piled up under some tree roots, my heart just about exploded with happiness, and now, suddenly, I think they have a future again. Those pups can save their species, if humans do their job and if humans leave them alone.”

We are beyond thrilled to hear this exciting news about these red wolf pups, and hope that through conservation programs we can soon see the red wolf population move out of the critically endangered category!

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