ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – Nine red wolf pups born at the Western North Carolina Nature in April are doing well, officials said.
The WNC Nature Center welcomed the birth of nine red wolf pups on April 28. The critically endangered pups are the offspring of four-year-old Gloria and three-year-old Oak, both first time parents.
The nine pups – eight females and one male – are all healthy and doing well, according to the nature center. The nature center’s veterinary care team is keeping a close eye on the pups in the first few weeks of life.
As they get older and are less dependent on their parents, they may be seen in the red wolf enclosure at WNC Nature Center.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, red wolves are a critically endangered species. As of May 2023, there were only 15 known and collared red wolves left living in the wild, with another 278 being held in captivity.
The animals are native to Eastern North Carolina.
Gloria and Oak were paired in January 2023 based on a breeding recommendation from the Red Wolf SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. SAFE is a collaborative effort between zoos and other conservation organizations to protect and recover the red wolf population through habitat restoration, genetically diverse breeding, and reintroducing red wolves into their natural habitat.
WNC Nature Center said animal lovers can support the growing pack of wolves by donating to the center. Donations can be made online at www.wildwnc.org/donate or mailed to Friends of the WNC Nature Center, PO Box 19151, Asheville, NC, 28815.