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State welcomes first red wolf pups born in wild since 2018

Red wolf cubs
Red wolf cubs(Red Wolf Recovery Program)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 2:35 PM EDT
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EAST LAKE, N.C. (WITN) - A litter of red wolf pups has been born in the wild in North Carolina for the first time in four years.

Six new pups were born to a wild red wolf pair in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare County. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program says the litter includes four female pups and two male pups.

Red wolf litter in their natural den
Red wolf litter in their natural den(Red Wolf Recovery Program)
Red wolf cub
Red wolf cub(Red Wolf Recovery Program)

The wild births are seen as major news for a species nearing extinction. Red wolves are currently the world’s rarest canine predator.

Red wolves were once common throughout the Southeast, so common, in fact, that they were considered “The American Wolf.”

However, the species is now the most endangered canid in the world. Only 20 known red wolves remain in the wild, surviving in five rural counties in Eastern North Carolina.

“Every generation yields a new born hope for the red wolf…a cause for joy and celebration!” The Red Wolf Recovery Program said.

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