An adorable new litter of red wolf pups has given the endangered species new hope for the future
The Red Wolf Recovery Program reported on a Facebook post that four female and two male red wolf pups were born in April.
Animal rights activists applauded the births, which represent the first time a litter of red wolves has been born in the wild since 2018.
The post by the Red Wolf Recovery Program read, “This red wolf pair was formed through the combination of several management actions and the two red wolves subsequently following their natural instincts in pairing, establishing their territory and mating.”
“Every generation yields a new born hope for the red wolf … a cause for joy and celebration!”
The newborns were discovered in the North Carolina-based Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.
The diminishing population of red wolves has been linked to human hunting, extinction, and damage to their natural habitat, according to NPR.
Red wolf breeding initiatives are seen as vital to the population’s survival.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service stated on its website how important Species Survival Plan (SSP) facilities have been in maintaining red wolf birth rates.
The number of red wolf mating couples increased to 38 during the breeding season of 2021-2022, according to the agency.
“As of August 2021, there are approximately 241 red wolves in 45 SSP facilities across the country. In the 2020-2021 breeding season, 30 breeding pairs were established and 23 pups in 6 litters were born,” the agency reported, explaining:
“Four adults were released into the wild in the NC NEP and 4 pups were fostered to a wild red wolf, leaving 19 pups added to the SSP population. With additional space capacity, and to increase the population, the number of breeding pairs for the 2021-2022 breeding season increased to 38 pairs.”