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Wolf Conservation Center’s Red Wolf Pups: Essential, Healthy, and Full of Surprises

On May 2, 2015, red wolf F1563 (a.k.a. Salty) gave birth to a litter of pups. All of them adorable and each a valuable contribution to the recovery of his and her rare and at-risk species. Under Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) protocols, captive born pups must be checked during certain milestones in their development. On September 21st, we conducted the most recent health-check.


The Wolf Conservation Center staff and volunteers gathered early in the morning to locate, capture, and “process” the pups. Our goal is to record heart rates and weights and administer wormer and the final of a series of three Distemper/Parvo vaccinations. As newborns, each pup could fit in the palm of one’s hand. Now at four and a half months old, the kiddos look less like pups and more like mini wolves.

Wolf Pup f2120, aka Charlotte

Once they were all captured, Paul Maus, DVM, our veterinarian who donates his time and expertise to the WCC, thoroughly examined the kiddos and they all looked robust (weights listed below), healthy, and terribly to cute! And to our surprise, we discovered one pup is not who we thought… Wolf pup f2120, aka Charlotte, is alive.

In mid-July one of the pups passed away at just 10 weeks old. A necropsy (autopsy for animals) revealed that the youngster died of trauma, a puncture to the intestine. The injury was likely an accident, but tragic nonetheless. Although the body of the pup was partially decomposed, we were confident that the pup was the lone female of the litter who we affectionately called “Charlotte.”  It turns out we were wrong.  Charlotte is alive! While this is wonderful news, we remember the loss of her brother – an adorable and endangered pup who unknowingly touched the hearts of WCC staff, volunteers, and supporters following the pups’ progress via webcam. RIP, Pup.

Pup Weights as of September 21, 2015

  • Wolf Pup m2116 – 25.4lbs
  • Wolf Pup m2117 – 27lbs
  • Wolf Pup m2118 – 29lbs
  • Wolf Pup m2119 – 31.8lbs
  • Wolf Pup f2120 – 29.2lbs

Earlier this summer all the pups received a microchip linking each to his/her alphanumeric name. Wild wolves and wolves associated with a recovery program are often given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate the sex of the animal and are capitalized for adult animals 24 months or older.  Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups.

Follow the pups’ progress via webcam and let us know what you see!

Take Action for Red Wolves

Red wolves remain among the world’s most endangered species. The current estimate puts the only wild population of red wolves at their lowest level (50 – 75) since the late 1990s.

Only one place on the planet are wild red wolf populations viable and secure – North Carolina. But the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission has asked U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to terminate the red wolf recovery program there, a move which would inevitably result in the loss of the last wild population of red wolves and render the species extinct in the wild.

While USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting the endangered species, continues to review the program, it has halted all captive-to-wild releases and management activity critical to the success of this recovery program.

Please sign the petition to urge USFWS to restore the Red Wolf Recovery Program.