Juno and Waya of Akron Zoo are the proud parents of eight Cubs.
The zoo says Juno gave birth to the puppies on April 22.
Red wolves are considered critically endangered, and this is the first time Akron Zoo has successfully reared the species.
Four puppies released into the wild as part of the species restoration program
Four of the puppies, according to the zoo, have already left Akron and have been released into the wild to be placed in a den by a red-haired wolf who had recently given birth in North Carolina.
The two males and two females are part of the Red Wolf recovery plan managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Services. This is the first time since 2014 that such puppies have been reintroduced into their natural habitat.
Zoo chief calls strengthening of critically endangered animals ‘mission in action’
Zoo officials say there are fewer than 20 such wolves left in the wild, making it the most endangered dog species in the world.
“This is the definition of Akron Zoo’s mission in action,” said Doug Piekarz, president and CEO of Akron Zoo, in a statement. “Akron Zoo is proud to be able to play a role in saving red wolves, in their natural habitat and in zoos. This birth and subsequent crossbreeding is a major conservation victory for a species that was once native to Ohio. “
Newborns could walk around in public view next month
The four remaining Rufous Cubs – three males and one female – remain off display at the zoo in a private habitat.
Zoo officials expect the puppies to start coming out of the so-called den later this month; the animals could start exploring the zoo’s wolf habitat – where the public can see them – in June.
Craig Webb can be reached at email@example.com.
What: Akron Zoo
Hours: 10 am-5pm every day
Admission: $ 13 for adults, $ 11 for seniors and $ 10 for children 2 to 14 years old. Parking costs $ 3. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. For more information or tickets: visit www.akronzoo.org or call (330) 375-2550.