Red Wolf Pup Photos

No, no pups at the Museum, although whelping season isn’t over and we are still waiting hopefully. We’ve got about another month to see if our wolves will deliver some little ones. The photos are from red wolves that were born at a holding facility in Manteo on the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. These four pups (3 males and 1 female. In the “zoo” world this would be written 3.1) are living “next door” to our brother wolves that we shipped out there in September. They were born on March 28 which is on the early side for red wolf births. The photos were taken by Kim Wheeler, the Director of the Red Wolf Coalition. The photo above is of the pups at 10 days old. The photo below is when they were 12 days old. Notice the subtle changes taking place in just two days: coloration, muzzle length, and eye opening.

Female red wolves only go into estrus once each year, so all pups are born sometime the end of March through the end of May. At last summer’s red wolf management meeting we placed some captive wolves at this holding facility in Manteo. The hope was that the wolves would have pups and that the Wildlife Biologists there would be able to foster some of the pups to a pair of wild wolves. This is the best way to get wolves from the captive population into the wild population.

It has been done successfully in the past: Pups born in captivity are matched with wolves in the wild who have had a litter of their own around the same time. Wildlife Biologists must “foster” the captive pups before their eyes open, so the first thing they see would be their new parents and siblings. It’s amazing.

Since these four pups were born on the early side, the Wildlife Biologists have not located any wild wolves with litters- it’s just too early. Therefore, these four pups will likely stay in the captive population for the rest of their lives.

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