Animal News

The Pack Grows In Raleigh: NC State Vet School Welcomes 3 Endangered Red Wolf Pups

With a 2024 like NC State has had who wouldn't want to join the pack? But the three newest members of the literal "wolfpack" in Raleigh are extra special and deserve to be celebrated. Yesterday NC State's College of Veterinary Medicine took to social media, on National Endangered Species Day, to announce the birth of three red wolf pups. This brings the total number of the University's red wolf pack to 8. New Red Wolf Pups At NC State And look at the photos above, are they not precious? The pups were born over Mother's Day weekend to wolves Penny and Jewel. According to a release from the vet school, the two female and one male pups are "thriving" during their first week of life. Red wolves were prominent across the Southeast for years but in the 1970s appeared headed for extinction. Luckily the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services stepped in. They were able to capture 14 red wolves and from there created a captive breeding and release program- The Red Wolf Recovery Program. Today, thanks to that program, there are approximately 250 red wolves under human care at 41 partner facilities. Those facilities included the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine as well as the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro and The Museum of Life and Sciences in Durham. The zoo also has welcomed pups in recent years as a part of its breeding program. I actually got to see some of these red wolves on my last visit to the zoo. They were some of the more active animals at the time of my visit. While as an alum of NC State (and someone who lives and breathes red and white), I'm certainly biased in my appreciation of wolves, they truly were amongst my favorite of the animals I saw. At NC State, the red wolves are cared for by the Carnivore Conservation Crew (CCC for short). This volunteer organization is made up of approximately 50 vet students who provide medical care for the wolves as well as provided daily care such as food and water to them. “I didn’t even know this existed until I started at NC State, but it’s pretty neat to be the Wolfpack and have a wolf pack — I don’t think most schools can say that for their mascot,” one student member of the CCC said. And I have to agree. While I absolutely adore Tuffy III our live mascot who is not an official wolf, instead a Tomaskan Wolf Dog, it's pretty incredible to know we do in fact have our own pack of wolves. The goal of the Red Wolf Recovery Program is to release these animals into the wild and aid in the survival of the species. At this moment there are less than 30 red wolves that live in the wild. All of these are on the North Carolina coast in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. With the ability to offer vital care to these creatures relatively close by, the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine is an important part of the federal Red Wolf Recovery Program. You can learn more about the red wolf pups born at NC State here. Learn about supporting the program here.

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