The North Carolina Zoo is excited to announce the names of the six red wolf pups (four females, two males) born on the guest view habitat to first-time parents Flint (male) and Sassy.
The public was invited to vote in an online poll from a list of names provided by the Zoo’s red wolf keepers. The names are based on rivers in the Southeastern U.S. where critically endangered red wolves used to range. The naming poll had over 6,500 responses.
The chosen names are Eno, Harper, Pearl, Warrior, Fisher, Catawba.
The names to choose from were Catawba, Edisto, Haw, Harper, Warrior, Eno, Fisher, Pearl, Waccamaw, and Swannanoa.
The pups were born as part of the Zoo’s red wolf breeding program. There were three litters totaling 12 pups born during three days from April 28 to April 30 (the other two litters pups’ names will be announced soon). This brings the number of red wolves currently in the Zoo’s breeding program to 35, making it the second-largest pack in the U.S. after Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.
Only 15-20 red wolves remain in the wild, and they are all in eastern North Carolina. Red wolves are considered the most endangered canid in the world.
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. Those efforts led to increasing numbers of wild red wolves in eastern North Carolina, but changes in how the recovery program was managed have resulted in the wild population again plummeting in recent years.
The Zoo has been part of the American Red Wolf Recovery Program since 1994 and 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.
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 our red wolf program, please visit www.nczoo.org