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North Carolina Zoo Announces Birth Of Five Critically-Endangered Red Wolf Pups

The North Carolina Zoo has a lot to celebrate after announcing the birth of a litter of critically-endangered American red wolves.

According to a recent press release, the five pups were born on April 21 as part of the zoo's breeding program and are currently being kept in a private, non-viewing area so their mother can raise them without any external stressors.

These precious little cuties are all reportedly doing well and have each been named after plants found in North Carolina.

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The three boys are named Oak after Appalachian Oak, Cedar after Red Cedar, and Sage after Azure Sage, and the two girls are Lily after the state's wildflower, Carolina Lily, and Aster, after Piedmont Aster.

They are the first litter born to their proud parents, Piglet and Jewell.

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The North Carolina zoo says there are only 15-20 red wolves left in the wild, and about 240 in breeding programs, including the 25 they have at the zoo.

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Once found all throughout the southeastern United States, the species is now reportedly the the most endangered canid in the world after being driven to near extinction during the late 1960's.

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This new litter of five brings the zoo's current number of red wolves to 25.

Eleven pups have been bred in the last three years, and a total of 34 wolves have been bred in total since the breeding program first began in 1994.

“Congratulations to the North Carolina Zoo for playing an essential part toward helping this critically endangered species recover,” Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, said in the press release. “It’s yet another example of the Zoo doing amazing work to conserve wildlife and wild places.”

h/t: North Carolina Zoo

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