NC Zoo Welcomes Two More Endangered Red Cubs :: WRAL.com
Asheboro, North Carolina – The North Carolina Zoo celebrates the birth of a pair of endangered red cubs this month. The two female puppies were born on May 4 to mum Taylor and dad Solo and are the zoo’s second litter this year. End of April, five puppies were born there.
With 27 red wolves, the Asheboro Zoo is now home to the second largest pack in the United States after the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, according to the press release. All seven puppies are doing well.
The new puppies were named after former North Carolina zookeeper Jessi Culbertson, 32, who worked with the Red Wolves for several years before passing away in 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer, says the press release. The puppies are named Arrow, in honor of Culbertson’s Cherokee Native American heritage, and May, for the month in which Jessi and the puppies share a birthday.
The zoo, which is temporarily closed during the pandemic, houses the pups in a quiet area where they have minimal contact with staff and keepers, allowing their mother to raise them with as little stress as possible.
Red wolves are endangered. According to the zoo, only 15 to 20 red wolves remain in the wild, and they’re all found in eastern North Carolina.
In the press release, Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, praised the zoo’s efforts to help this critically endangered species survive.
“It’s truly a testament to the staff’s dedication, teamwork and passion to help one of the world’s most endangered canids,” Hamilton said.
Once common throughout the southeastern United States, wolves were driven to near extinction by the late 1960s, according to the zoo, but the US Fish and Wildlife Service launched an aggressive conservation effort – l ‘American Red Wolf Recovery Program – which has led to new ways. monitor and protect the species.
The zoo has been part of the American Red Wolf Recovery Program since 1994. With these recent births, the zoo’s red wolf pack has raised thirteen cubs over the past three years and has successfully raised 36 wolves since the program began. Currently, there are approximately 240 (this number may change daily during whelping season) Red Wolves in breeding programs across the United States. Red wolves normally have three to five cubs per litter.