Red Wolves ~
The red wolf is a critically endangered species with an estimate of two dozen wild individuals remaining in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina. Historically, the red wolf occurred in the wild from New York south to Texas, but populations had declined to only 14 wild individuals remaining in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana in the 1970’s due to habitat loss and human persecution.
The remaining wolves were brought into human care by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a breeding program that is now known as the Red Wolf SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program as part of the Red Wolf Endangered Species Recovery Program. There are currently approximately 240 red wolves managed at 49 Red Wolf SAFE facilities across the U.S., with a goal of increasing the population in human care to 330 individuals to facilitate reintroductions and growing the wild population. You can learn more about red wolves and their conservation at http://www.fws.gov/project/red-wolf-recovery-program.
Two new habitats were created at Oglebay Good Zoo in 2022 to support the red wolf breeding program through incredible support from the C2S2 (Conservation Centers for Species Survival) Red Wolf Recovery Program grant supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, by the Helen J. Prince Foundation and from Williams, a clean energy infrastructure company. In addition to providing operating support for the red wolf program, Williams has been a long-term conservation partner with the Oglebay Good Zoo to care for and conserve Eastern hellbender salamanders and pollinators.