Charlotte and Veronica are two female red wolves living at the Wolf Conservation Center, (WCC), sanctuary in upstate New York. They gave birth to ten red bull wolf pups, which is rare.
In 1980, the red wolf was declared ‘functionally extinct. However, efforts were made to reintroduce captive red wolves back into the wild. In 2014, it was estimated there were 130 red wolves in the wild; that number is believed to have declined.
“it has been listed by IUCN as a critically endangered species since 1996. It is considered the rarest species of wolf and is one of the five most endangered species of wolf in the world,” reads an entry on Wikipedia.
As with most endangered species, humans are to blame for their destruction and diminishing numbers; they are hunted, and their habitat is disrupted. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began scaling back their efforts to protect the species, claiming their efforts to repopulate the red wolf didn’t work.
Wildlife conservationists disagree, saying they didn’t give their plans a chance to unfold and work.
“Because of USFWS’s own actions/inactions, the program struggles today,” Maggie Howell, executive director of the WCC, told The Dodo. “After 2014, the USFWS stopped reintroducing captive-born red wolves into the reintroduced population, ceased implementing the Red Wolf Adaptive Management Plan that limited hybridization via management of coyotes, and removed wolves from private lands and issued take permits (kill permits) to landowners.”
The fate of these beautiful animals is still unknown. But these ten pups will receive the best care at the WCC. No matter where you live in the world, you can watch live footage of the pups playing and growing through the sanctuary’s webcams. You can observe moments like the one where Charlotte kisses her mate, Jack after she gives birth.
The births of these lovely creatures are fantastic. It’s sad that they won’t know what it’s like to live in the wild. “While these adorable pups are priceless contributions to the recovery of their rare species (especially the genetic health of the captive population), USFWS needs to recommit to preserving the wild and naturally functioning red wolf population it has established,” Howell said .
“Beyond being cute, the pocket-sized wolf pups represent our active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction,” Howell added. “It’s our goal to use moments like these to further educate the public on the importance of protecting these wonderful animals.”
To help save this species, you can make a donation to the WCC or contact your state representative and urge them to keep the red wolf from becoming entirely extinct.