12 critically-endangered wolf pups born at North Carolina Zoo over 3 days; public naming poll planned

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ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The North Carolina Zoo’s family of critically-endangered wolves grew by 12, according to an announcement from the zoo.

On Monday, the North Carolina Zoo announced that three litters of critically-endangered American red wolves were born, as part of the zoo’s red wolf breeding program.

The zoo says the pups and their mothers are doing well.

  • 12 critically-endangered wolf pups born at North Carolina Zoo (Moriah Angott/N.C. Zoo)
  • 12 critically-endangered wolf pups born at North Carolina Zoo (Moriah Angott/N.C. Zoo)
  • 12 critically-endangered wolf pups born at North Carolina Zoo (Moriah Angott/N.C. Zoo)
  • 12 critically-endangered wolf pups born at North Carolina Zoo (Moriah Angott/N.C. Zoo)
  • 12 critically-endangered wolf pups born at North Carolina Zoo (Moriah Angott/N.C. Zoo)

Denali, a male, and Ayita, a female, had two girls on April 28.

Solo, male, and Taylor, female, had two girls and two boys on April 30.

Flint, male, and Sassy, female, had four girls and two boys also on April 30.

The pups have not been named yet, and the zoo plans to announce a public naming poll for one of the litters within a month.

“Congratulations to the North Carolina Zoo for playing an essential part in the survival of this critically endangered species,” said Secretary Reid Wilson of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “These births are important because many of our wolves, once matured, have been moved to other breeding packs to continue to help bring this species back from near extinction. Our hope is that more and more red wolves can soon be placed into the wild.”

These batches of cubs bring the zoo’s total number of red wolves to 36. This is now the second largest pack in the United States.

The pack of 36 is about twice as many as remain in the wild. According to the zoo, there are only about 15 to 20 American red wolves still living in the wild, all located in eastern North Carolina. The species is considered the most endangered canid in the world.

The zoo expects the pups to be visible to the public starting in mid-June.

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