• 66°

Two endangered red wolf pups born at North Carolina Zoo, bringing total to seven this year

The pups are named in honor of a zookeeper who passed away last year

ASHEBORO —  The North Carolina Zoo announces the birth of two endangered American red wolves as part of its American red wolf breeding program. The two female pups were born on Monday, May 4, to parents Taylor (female) and Solo (male). This is the second litter for the zoo this year, which is the first time for two litters in one season for the zoo’s breeding program. On April 21, five pups were born at the zoo to parents Piglet (female) and Jewell (male).

All seven pups are all healthy and doing well.

The newest pups were named in honor of former North Carolina zookeeper Jessi Culbertson, 32, who worked with the red wolves for several years before passing away in 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer.

The pups are named Arrow, in honor of Jessi’s Native American Cherokee heritage, and May, for the month that both Jessi and the puppies share a birthday.

This litter brings the number of red wolves in the zoo’s breeding program to 27, making it the second-largest pack in the U.S. after Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.

The pups are being kept in a quiet, non-public viewing area of the zoo and have minimal contact with staff and keepers. This allows their mother to raise the pups with the least amount of stress in a natural habitat.

Only 15-20 red wolves remain in the wild, and they’re all in eastern North Carolina.

Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, lauded the zoo’s efforts to help this critically endangered species survive.

“It’s really a testament the staff’s dedication, teamwork and passion toward helping one of the most endangered canids in the world,” Hamilton said.

Once common throughout the southeastern United States, the wolves were driven to near extinction during the late 1960s, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began an aggressive conservation effort — the American Red Wolf Recovery Program — that led to new ways to track and protect the species.

The zoo has been part of the American Red Wolf Recovery Program since 1994. With these recent births, the zoo’s red wolf pack has bred 13 pups over the past three years and has successfully bred 36 wolves since the program began. Currently, there are about 240 (that number can change daily during the whelping season) red wolves in breeding programs throughout the U.S. Red wolves normally have three to five pups per litter.

The North Carolina Zoo led the successful efforts to have the American red wolf become part of the Association of Zoo and Aquariums SAFE (Saving Species From Extinction) program.

Under this program, the zoo leads in conserving the species and growing both the population in the wild and the animals under human care.

AZA SAFE Species programs aim to protect endangered species around the world. For more information, visit https://www.aza.org/aza-safe.

To learn more about the North Carolina Zoo and its red wolf program, go to www.nczoo.org

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post

Comments

Business

County commissioners delay consideration of new events center in China Grove

Coronavirus

New COVID-19 outbreak emerges at N.C. State Veterans Home, another declared over

Crime

Police: Two armed men rob local convenience store

Crime

Blotter: Local woman swindled out of hundreds in gift card scam

News

‘People are the parade’: Salisbury’s annual Christmas parade reinvents itself in year of coronavirus

News

Commissioners grant permit, allow Reaper’s Realm to continue operations for remainder of Halloween season

Elections

Republican Rep. Budd maintains fundraising lead over Democratic challenger Huffman

Local

City council to consider ‘Share 2 Care’ fund for locals behind on water, sewer payments

Education

None speak against closure during hearing to shutter Faith Elementary

Crime

Blotter: Police find car windows shot out, bullet holes in home on West Horah Street

Crime

Five held at gunpoint in East Lafayette Street robbery

Ask Us

Ask Us: Readers ask questions about Shober Bridge, voting safeguards

Elections

Political notebook: More than 1.4 million votes cast already in North Carolina

Elections

‘Souls to the polls’: More than 1,300 cast ballots on first Sunday of early voting

Crime

Crime blotter: Salisbury man faces charges for firing shotgun in city limits, drug possession

Local

Search continues for missing hiker from Asheville

Local

A stroll through the scarecrows: fall-themed activity draws visitors to NC Transportation Museum

Elections

Despite scandal, Cunningham maintains small lead in Senate race; supporters say policy positions more important

Lifestyle

Rowan Helping Ministries golf tournament raises $20,000

Local

Town of Spencer forging ahead five years after drafting plans for Park Plaza

Business

Biz Roundup: RCCC to host conference on diversity, equity and inclusion

Business

Elderberry syrup: the popular purple product that has become a mainstay in local stores

Local

Trinity Oaks to host Halloween Spooktacular

Entertainment

Lee Street theatre improves virus prevention tactics, “determined” for ‘Fun Home’ to open