Two moms just gave birth to ten very special babies at a sanctuary in upstate New York. Not even weeks old, people are already obsessed with them.
The newborn babies are all rare red wolf pups born at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC). Their moms are Charlotte (red wolf F2121) and Veronica (red wolf F1858), and these births are incredible news for the species.
The red wolf has almost been completely wiped out from the wild. In fact, in 1980, they were declared ‘functionally extinct,’ but with efforts to reintroduce captive red wolves in the wild, people hoped that their population would soon grow.
Just 130 red wolves roamed the wild in 2014. Now, it’s believed that there could be fewer than 30 of them.
According to Wikipedia, “it has been listed by IUCN as a critically endangered species since 1996. It is considered the rarest species of wolf and is one of the five most endangered species of wolf in the world.”
Humans are to blame for this devastating loss in red wolf population – due to hunting and habitat loss. After years of trying to bring them back and repopulate, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began scaling back their efforts to protect the species.
The USFSW recently put out a statement regarding their efforts to protect and repopulate the wolves, saying that their plan didn’t work. Wildlife conservationists, however, believe that the plan wasn’t given a full chance to work to begin with.
“Because of USFWS’s own actions/inactions, the program struggles today,” Maggie Howell, executive director of the WCC, told The Dodo. “After 2014, the USFWS stopped reintroducing captive-born red wolves into the reintroduced population, ceased implementing the Red Wolf Adaptive Management Plan that limited hybridization via management of coyotes, and removed wolves from private lands and issued take permits (kill permits) to landowners.”
It’s still unknown what will happen to this beautiful species, but these ten little red wolf pups will be well taken care of at the WCC.
The best part? People all across the globe can watch the tiny pups play and grow via their live webcams. In fact, there was a very sweet moment caught on camera where Charlotte ‘kisses’ her mate Jack just after she gives birth.
Although it’s exciting that these babies have been born, it’s also a bit sad to know that they will most likely never know what it’s like to live in the wild, as there’s no safe place for red wolves unless it’s in captivity or a sanctuary like the WCC.
“While these adorable pups are priceless contributions to the recovery of their rare species (especially the genetic health of the captive population), USFWS needs to recommit to preserving the wild and naturally functioning red wolf population it has established,” Howell said.
“Beyond being cute, the pocket-sized wolf pups represent our active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction,” Howell added. “It’s our goal to use moments like these to further educate the public on the importance of protecting these wonderful animals.”
There are a couple ways that you can help try to save and protect this beautiful species.
To help protect this rare wolf, you can make a donation to the Wolf Conservation Center. You can also call upon your state representatives to take action to help save the red wolf.
Let’s not let this gorgeous animal go extinct because of our inaction.
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