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New American Red Wolf arrives at Virginia Living Museum

The Virginia Living Museum introduced an 11-year-old female American Red Wolf.
Credit: Virginia Living Museum
The Virginia Living Museum acquired an 11-year-old female American Red Wolf.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Virginia Living Museum introduced a new American Red Wolf.

The museum acquired the 11-year-old female from the Brevard Zoo in Florida.

The American Red Wolf, an endangered species, was born in Florida. When the other wolf she was living with died from old age, she needed a companion.

The Virginia Living Museum's 12-year-old male American Red Wolf also needed a companion as well. 

The two wolves living together will provide necessary companionship for the pack animals now living together in the wolf habitat on the Museum's outdoor trail.

The Virginia Living Museum participates in a Species Survival Plan to reintroduce the American Red Wolf into the wild. In colonial times, red wolves lived throughout the southeast, but are now the most endangered animal in North America.

The Virginia Living Museum is the closest facility to Alligator River, the only place in the country where red wolves currently live in the wild. In fact, it's believed there there are fewer than thirty American Red Wolves left in the wild in northeastern North Carolina.

About ten years ago, there were about 120 wolves in the wild after years of successful captive breeding efforts, but, since then, their numbers have dwindled mainly because of gunshots because they have been mistaken for coyotes.

After they left federal lands and moved to private land, there were no repercussions for killing them.

Their legal status within North Carolina has been under review by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

According to the Virginia Living Museum, "In zoos and museums like the Virginia Living Museum, American Red Wolf numbers are strong, and they are continuing to be bred as an assurance population against extinction."

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