North Carolina Welcomes Litter of Critically Endangered Red Cubs – First Born in the Wild in 4 Years

Red Cubs

Red Wolf Recovery Program/US Fish and Wildlife Service

Wildlife officials are celebrating a new litter of red cubs.

The US Fish and Wildlife Red Wolf Recovery Program announced the birth of six cubs (four females and two males) in North Carolina. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on Facebook last week.

The litter is the first litter of red wolves born in the wild since 2018, a boon for the species, which is currently listed as critical danger.

“As the sights and sounds of spring began to unfold across Alligator River NWR in April, something monumental was also unfolding in the landscape…a new litter of red cubs and renewed hope for a species survival! ” Red Wolf Recovery Strategy writes on facebook alongside photos of the precious puppies.

“This pair of red wolves was formed through a combination of several management actions and the two red wolves then followed their natural instincts for pairing, establishing their territory and mating, the program explained. (See the post here).

Red Wolves once thrived throughout the Southeast. Unfortunately, by the 1970s the species had been driven to the brink of extinction due to overhunting and habitat loss.

There were only 17 wolves left when the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973. Of these, 14 were used to form the USFWS captive breeding program. The red wolf was declared extinct in the wild in 1980.

To date, there are approximately 15-17 red wolves living in the wild. 241 others exist in captivity.

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“Each generation gives new hope to the red wolf…a cause for joy and celebration!” the program writes on facebook.

Fingers crossed these adorable puppies live long and healthy lives.


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