Texas wild dogs linked to endangered red wolf




    The parents of this 7-week-old Red Wolf cub keep tabs on their offspring at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC, in 2017. A pack of wild canids found frolicking near the beaches of the Texas Gulf Coast led to the discovery that red wolves, or at least one animal closely aligned with them, endure in isolated parts of the southeast nearly 40 years after the animal was thought to have become extinct in the wild state.

DALLAS >> Researchers say a pack of wild canids found frolicking near Texas Gulf Coast beaches carries a substantial amount of red wolf genes.

This discovery shed new light on the fact that the red wolf‘s DNA is remarkably resilient after decades of human hunting, habitat loss, and other factors that have led the animal to near-decimation.

The red wolf was declared extinct in the wild in 1980, but some have been captured for a successful captive breeding program. These dogs became part of an experimental wild population in North Carolina.

Genetic analysis revealed that the dogs from Galveston Island in Texas appear to be a hybrid of red wolf and coyote. A scientist involved in the research said more testing was needed to label the animal.

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