Tallahassee Museum welcomes birth of two endangered red wolf pups

Published 2:52 pm Thursday, June 27, 2024

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For thousands of years, red wolves roamed the southeastern United States. Bigger than a coyote, but smaller than their gray counterparts, they are social predators that would feed on deer, rabbits, raccoons, and rodents. However, because of hunting, intensive predator control programs, and habitat loss, the species was extirpated from their native range, and declared extinct in the wild in 1980, with the fourteen survivors left living in captivity as breeding and reintroduction programs began.

With so few members of the species left, every litter of pups born is a big deal. The Tallahassee Museum now has two little big deals on its hands, as two of the museum’s wolves, Arrow and Rainier, recently had their first litter of puppies. This litter, one male and one female, is the fourth born at the Tallahassee Museum since 1988. Both pups currently spend most of their time in the den box, where staff are able to monitor them on camera.

Originally born in April, the pups are now two months old. Rainier, the father, was a part of the last litter born at the Museum, back in 2017. These wolves are a part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s breeding program, the American Red Wolf SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) Project.

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Anyone wishing to see these critically endangered canids can visit the Tallahassee Museum from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday, and from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday.