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Excitement Mixed with Sorrow for the Third Birth of Endangered Red Wolves at the NC Zoo


Excitement Mixed with Sorrow for the Third Birth of Endangered Red Wolves at the NC Zoo - by Maria Ferguson

April 18, 2004 brought three new Red Wolf Pups to the North Carolina Zoo’s off-exhibit holding area. The pups were born to a seven-year-old female who came from the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge Center in South Carolina. The father, age three came to the NC Zoo from Florida’s Brevard Zoo. These pups may someday be reintroduction candidates and will remain in an off-exhibit area with limited contact with zookeepers.

Red Wolf Dad picking up Pup Picture

The sad news is, the pups were doing well and around four weeks of age, their mother passed away from natural causes, according to Chris Lasher, Zookeeper. The immediate concern was for the pups and consultations were made with Vets and heads of the Species Survival Program. It was recommended that the pups be fed a milk replacer with canned food and softened wolf chow.

The good news is that the pups took to their new food and after initial weight loss are now back on track and gaining weight. Lasher adds, "We do have to be very careful in this process of feeding the puppies. We do not want the puppies to become used to getting their food from people. The puppies have to learn how to be red wolves, and the only way to do that is to learn from another red wolf." The Red Wolf Dad seems to be doing a good job looking after the pups in the absence of their Mother.

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