Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

5 Critically Endangered Red Wolf Pups Born at North Carolina Zoo

Animals
The North Carolina Zoo announced the birth of five critically endangered American red wolves as part of its American red wolf breeding program. North Carolina Zoo

The population of the most endangered canid in the world just got a little bit bigger.


The North Carolina Zoo announced the birth of five American red wolf pups on Friday. This is an especially big deal because there are only 15 to 20 red wolves left in the wild, in eastern North Carolina.

"Congratulations to the North Carolina Zoo for playing an essential part toward helping this critically endangered species recover," North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources secretary Susi H. Hamilton said in the birth announcement. "It's yet another example of the Zoo doing amazing work to conserve wildlife and wild places."

The pups were born April 21 to a mother named Piglet and a father named Jewell. This is the couple's first litter.

"The pups and their mother are all healthy and doing well," the zoo said.

The new babies were all named for plants found in North Carolina, the zoo explained:

The names for the males are Oak (Appalachian Oak), Cedar (Red Cedar) and Sage (Azure Sage). The females are named Lily (Carolina Lily, the state's wildflower) and Aster (Piedmont Aster).

American red wolves have struggled in the wild in recent years, as The Herald-Sun reported. They were declared extinct in the wild in 1980 due to hunting and habitat loss, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) began efforts to reintroduce them to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge as part of the American Red Wolf Recovery Program. Their numbers swelled to more than 130 by 2006, but then began to decline between 2013 and 2015 after FWS introduced a policy allowing landowners to shoot and kill wolves, as EcoWatch previously reported.

In 2018, a federal judge ruled that the killing violated the endangered species act and had to stop.

In zoos, however, the species has fared better. There are around 240 red wolves in breeding programs across the U.S., the zoo said.

The North Carolina Zoo has been part of the American Red Wolf Recovery Program since 1994 and has bred 34 wolves since the program started. The birth of the new pups brings the zoo's wolf population up to 25, meaning it has the second-biggest red wolf pack in U.S. after the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.

Six red wolf babies were also born at the The Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina in April 2019, The Herald-Sun reported. However, most of the museum's red wolves were moved to Virginia in January, and no babies were born there this spring, WRAL reported.

The North Carolina Zoo is currently closed to visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic, though you can still visit virtually. However, the new arrivals won't know the difference right now.

"The pups are being kept in a quiet, non-public viewing area of the Zoo and have minimal contact with staff and keepers," the zoo said. "This allows their mother to raise the pups with the least amount of stress in a natural habitat."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

Read More Show Less
Berber woman cooks traditional flatbread using an earthen oven in her mud-walled village home located near the historic village of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, Africa on Jan. 4, 2016. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. /NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Jason Flatt

The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.

Read More Show Less
Danny Choo / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Olivia Sullivan

One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.

Read More Show Less
A mostly empty 110 freeway toward downtown Los Angeles, California on April 28, 2020. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The shelter in place orders that brought clean skies to some of the world's most polluted cities and saw greenhouse gas emissions plummet were just a temporary relief that provided an illusory benefit to the long-term consequences of the climate crisis. According to new research, the COVID-19 lockdowns will have a "neglible" impact on global warming, as Newshub in New Zealand reported.

Read More Show Less
Centrosaurus apertus was a plant-eating, single-horned dinosaur that lived 76 to 77 million years ago. Sergey Krasovskiy / Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

Scientists have discovered and diagnosed the first instance of malignant cancer in a dinosaur, and they did so by using modern medical techniques. They published their results earlier this week in The Lancet Oncology.

Read More Show Less
Parks keep people happy in times of global crisis, economic shutdown and public anger. NPS

By Joe Roman and Taylor Ricketts

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the "happiness" of people's words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The ubiquity of guns and bullets poses environmental risks. Contaminants in bullets include lead, copper, zinc, antimony and mercury. gorancakmazovic / iStock / Getty Images Plus

New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that she will attempt to dismantle the National Rifle Association (NRA), arguing that years of corruption and mismanagement warrant the dissolution of the activist organization, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less