More efforts are being taken to help keep the Ethiopian wolf from becoming extinct. It is currently the world's rarest wolf. The Ethiopian wolf is a rust-coloured, coyote-sized canid that diverged from other wolf species around three or four million years ago. Today there exists a small population of the native African species that is found in Ethiopia's Bale Mountains.

Many obstacles stand in the way though. Rabies outbreaks continue to be the number one threat to this endangered wolf species. Just one outbreak can decrease a population in half, thereby causing genetic diversity to disappear very quickly. Currently there is an ongoing program to vaccinate the country's 10,000 dogs which is the main reason that these rabies outbreaks are occuring. There is also a program to try to vaccinate the wolves through an oral method rather than injection.

Another obstacle is that the wolf is the national symbol of Ethiopia. This means that conservationists are not permitted to remove any individuals from the country to be bred in captivity overseas. Scientists from all over the world are working on other possible solutions to help keep this rare wolf from becoming the next dodo bird of extinction.

Because this wolf breeds easily another step to preserve them will soon be taking place. Wenche Farstad from the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science and Linda Penfold from the South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation in the U.S. are working with Ethiopian vets to train them in new procedure of cryopreservation. This involves the technique of collecting and freezing semen from the wolves to use for insemination at a later time. The team also hopes to eventually establish a captive breeding station in Ethiopia to assist in the conservation of the species.

This is a very novel approach that has not been used before with preserving wild and endangered animals. Possibly it could become the saving grace of other extremely endangered animals such as the White Rhino or the Bengal Tiger. Hopefully so, but for now it will be used to stop the Ethiopian Wolf's last cry in the wilderness.

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