12 'Healthy' Endangered Red Wolf Pups Born Over 3-Day Period at the North Carolina Zoo

·2 min read

Moriah Angott/N.C. Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo's animal family has expanded by a dozen!

On Monday, the zoo announced the births of three litters of critically endangered American red wolves.

Part of the facility's red wolf breeding program, the litters — made up of 12 pups total — were born last month in the three-day span of April 28 to April 30.

This occasion marks the first time the zoo's breeding program has welcomed three litters in one spring season.

Currently, the wold pups and their mothers "are healthy and doing well," the zoo said.

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Moriah Angott/N.C. Zoo

According to the zoo, Denali and Ayita are the parents of the two female pups born on April 28 are, while the parents of four pups (two males, two females) born on April 30 are Solo and Taylor.

The parents of the other six pups, comprised of two males and four females born on April 30, are Flint and Sassy.

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"Congratulations to the North Carolina Zoo for playing an essential part in the survival of this critically endangered species," Secretary Reid Wilson of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources said in a statement. "These births are important because many of our wolves, once matured, have been moved to other breeding packs to continue to help bring this species back from near extinction."

He added: "Our hope is that more and more red wolves can soon be placed into the wild."

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The newest additions to the Asheboro-based zoo bring the number of red wolves currently in the organization's breeding program to 36.

The facility now has the second-largest pack in the country after Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, per a release from the North Carolina Zoo.

According to the zoo, around 15 to 20 red wolves currently remain in the wild, where they are found in eastern North Carolina. The mammal is considered to be the most endangered canid in the world.

The North Carolina Zoo's 12 new wolf pups will "most likely" make their public debut in June when they start to travel outside their dens. The wolves will be moved to non-public breeding areas when they are older.