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With a wild population of just over 100 individuals living near the coast of North Carolina, the red wolf (Canis rufus) is one of the most endangered canids in the world. A Species Survival Plan (SSP) captive breeding program was conceived for the recovery of this beautiful wolf. One of the facilities that takes part in this recovery program is the WNC Nature Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
Last May, one of the wolves at the Nature Center (Mayo, the red wolf in the photo) gave birth to a litter of four puppies (two females and two males). This not only brings joy and smiles to visitors of the WNC Nature Center but these puppies make a huge contribution to the gene pool of this critically endangered species.
Seeing a red wolf in the wild is not just difficult; it is nearly impossible. Very rarely, a visitor does catch a glimpse of one in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Your best chance is to visit a zoo or nature center that participates in the red wolf captive breeding program. Red Wolf Coalition has a list of the 42 approved facilities in the U.S. where red wolves can be visited.
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