NC judge orders plan for releasing more red wolves into wild

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FILE - In this Monday, May 13, 2019 file photo, A female red wolf emerges from her den sheltering newborn pups at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, N.C. A judge has ordered the federal government to come up with a plan to release more endangered red wolves from breeding programs to bolster the dwindling wild population. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle signed an order Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to draft a plan by March 1 for releasing captive-bred wolves into the wolves’ designated habitat in North Carolina. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

FILE – In this Monday, May 13, 2019 file photo, A female red wolf emerges from her den sheltering newborn pups at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, N.C. A judge has ordered the federal government to come up with a plan to release more endangered red wolves from breeding programs to bolster the dwindling wild population. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle signed an order Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to draft a plan by March 1 for releasing captive-bred wolves into the wolves’ designated habitat in North Carolina. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

A North Carolina judge has ordered the federal government to come up with a plan to release more endangered red wolves from breeding programs to bolster the dwindling wild population.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle signed an order Thursday directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to draft a plan by March 1 for releasing captive-bred wolves into the wolves’ designated habitat in North Carolina.

The preliminary ruling comes in a lawsuit filed late last year by red wolf conservation groups in a federal court in North Carolina, the only place in the world where the wolf roams wild outside of zoos or wildlife refuges.

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