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Road Trip! WCC Brings Red Wolf M1587 Home

September 29, 2009 – A small group of WCC staff and volunteers is heading south to pick up male red wolf, M1587, from the Mill Mountain Zoo in Virginia. The new addition to the WCC family will join female red wolf, F1291, following a brief adjustment period. The pair are an excellent match on paper and they will be given the opportunity to breed this winter because their offspring will increase the genetic diversity of their rare species. If F1587 and F1291 prove fruitful next spring, some of their pups would be candidates for release! Captive-to-wild fostering events are coordinated efforts by the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program and the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. Fostering is a method which allows genetically valuable captive-born red wolf pups to become integrated into the wild red wolf population. Every spring, field biologists with the Red Wolf Recovery Program listen for the whines and peeps of wild red wolf pups as they search for dens. When biologists locate dens, each pup is counted and tagged and blood samples are collected before the pup is carefully returned. Some of these dens will serve as the foster home for captive born red wolf pups! A number of captive born pups each year are selected to be transferred and inserted into the den of wild wolves. The wild wolves then embrace and raise these new pups as their own. The pups develop in the wild and thus gain survival skills required to mature and reproduce. Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned.