Meet the endangered red wolf pups born May 13-15 at Point Defiance Zoo in the closed circuit video taken just after the pups were born..

(TACOMA, WA) -- The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has some very cute, frisky and rare additions to the zoo’s animal kingdom.

Endangered red wolf pups.

The Red Wolf is a unique species of wolf (scientifically known as Canis rufus) that is smaller than the Gray Wolf but larger than the coyote.

Millie, an endangered red wolf at the Point Defiance Zoo gave birth to a litter of pups over an approximately 30-hour period beginning May 13.

The births represent a big step in the program established at the zoo in 1973 to save this very fragile species from extinction.

Millie, an 8-year-old female red wolf is the proud mother and 9-year old red wolf Graham is the father.

Although they are the first red wolves born on zoo grounds in 29 years, the program has produced hundreds of pups at off-site breeding facilities since its inception.

The first litter of pups in the red wolf recovery program was born at the zoo in 1977 and this year marks the 35th anniversary of that event which was a watershed moment in the recovery of the species.

By the 1970s, very few red wolfs were left in the wild and by 1980 the population was down to 14 pure red wolves. Those wolves were brought to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as part of the recovery program, known as the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program managed by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Today about 100 red wolfs roam the Red Wolf Recovery Area in northeastern North Carolina. The program is a cooperative effort among 41 U.S. zoos, wildlife centers and the Fish & Wildlife Service. About 196 adult and juveniles wolves are at the cooperating facilities.
Red Wolf newborn pup at Point Defiance Zoo. Photo by Point Defiance Zoo

Red Wolf pup with mom at Point Defiance Zoo. Photo by Point Defiance Zoo

ADULT red wolf. Photo by Point Defiance Zoo

Roughly 40 pups have been born there this year. All of them are descendants of red wolves born through the breeding and recovery program.

Thanks to the efforts of Point Defiance Zoo and other organizations, the Red Wolf population has grown from 14 in 1980 to over 250 wolves total today.

Red Wolves have even been reintroduced to the wild and are continuing to grow in numbers although the wolf remains threatened in the wild by a number of environmental and human factors.

The goal of the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan has always been the successful management of a reintroduced wolf population to the wild, into the animal’s natural habitat.

Thus great care had to be taken to maintain the wolves' natural instincts and minimize human contact.

The efforts of those involved in the breeding and reintroduction programs proved successful as the first Red Wolves were released to a native habitat at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, NC in 1987. Each reintroduced wolf wore a radio collar so that it could be tracked and studied.

A year after the first wolves were reintroduced to the refuge, the first wild wolf pups were born.

VIDEO Endangered Red Wolf pups born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

The video bellow called “Back from the Brink” describes the conservation efforts by the Pt. Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to save the Red Wolf from extinction. Produced by Pt. Defiance Zoo Society.

The history of the Red Wolf can be traced back hundreds of years, when its range once covered much of the eastern United States from as far north as Pennsylvania and New York to as far west as Texas.

Responses to "Endangered Red Wolf Pups Debut (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    So cool! This is the kind of news my soul truly requires.

  2. Anonymous says:

    they are beautiful,and deserve a fighting chance!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is beautiful but we are allowing Wolf hunts with time limits or kill count. So if they are released they will be killed but ignorant hunters.

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