Red Wolves Become Foster Parents

If you’re a regular WaterNotes reader you may remember that I have a certain soft spot for red wolves. The extinct-in-the-wild species exists only because of the dedication of the zoo and aquarium community in the United States and the efforts of fish and wildlife biologists who monitor and manage reintroduced populations of red wolves in North Carolina.

Lincoln Park Zoo had a litter of pups born recently that are slated for release into North Carolina. The strategy for introducing them is rather novel though.. biologists plan to take four of the six pups born in the zoo and plant them in the dens of existing red wolf pairs who will serve as foster parents and packs in the wild. It’ll be a welcome addition to the existing pack structures and will hopefully bolster red wolf numbers (as well as genetics). At last count the total red wolf population – wild or zoo-bound – hovered near 350 individuals.