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Red Wolf


These members of the dog family are a bit larger than coyotes and smaller than gray wolves and are found only in extreme northeastern North Carolina.  Unfortunately, they are critically endangered, with only about 20-40 in the wild today.  However, the North Carolina Zoo and other zoos have been able to successfully foster some pups born in their care to wild mothers. 

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Red Wolves of the Alligator River


Red Wolf Breeding and Reintroduction Program
Listed as critically endangered, the red wolf is one of the most threatened canids in the world. While they once had an extensive range across the southeastern US, by 1980 they were considered to be extinct in the wild due to hunting and habitat destruction. In an effort to save the few remaining red wolves, a captive breeding program was initiated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The North Carolina Zoo was one of the institutions that helped to establish the captive population. Red wolves from the breeding program were successfully reintroduced to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern North Carolina and currently occupy 1.7 million acres of land known as the Red Wolf Recovery Area. As of 2013, the red wolf population in the recovery area is growing, with 70 known individuals comprising 14 packs and 12 breeding pairs. The North Carolina Zoo maintains a pack of red wolves and continues to be actively involved in the breeding program. Several wolves from the Zoo have been reintroduced into Alligator River and now live in the wild. The Zoo's Red Wolf habitat has two red wolves which act as important ambassadors for the red wolf recovery program.

<Red Wolf>


Red Wolves of the Alligator River

Red Wolf

<Red Wolf>


Red Wolves of the Alligator River

Red Wolf