For a zoo, the birth of each new animal is a special event. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a baby animal see the light of day.
If the animal also belongs to an endangered species, that makes it even more special. Many zoos participate in programmes designed to reintroduce certain species that are threatened with extinction. Every new birth is a success.
The North Carolina Zoo recently announced the birth of 12 red wolf cubs.
The zoo announced the birth on Facebook and said that the babies were born within three days at the end of April.
The red wolf is on the IUCN Red List and is classified as critically endangered. The once very common species was almost wiped out in the 1960s before it was finally given protected status.
There are currently fewer than 20 red wolves living in the wild. The North Carolina Zoo is part of a programme to breed and reintroduce the endangered species.
The new litter brings the number of red wolves to 36, according to WRAL, making them the second largest red wolf pack in the country. Since 1994, the zoo has successfully bred 48 wolves.
“Congratulations to the North Carolina Zoo for making a significant contribution to the survival of this endangered species,” said Secretary Reid Wilson of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in a press release.
“These births are important because many of our wolves, once fully grown, will be moved to other breeding packs to help save this species from extinction. Our hope is that more and more red wolves can soon be released into the wild.”
The young wolves are currently still living in their den. But they will be brought outside sometime in June and presented to visitors.
The cubs do not yet have names, but the zoo will allow a vote on naming next month.
These newborns are a great sign of hope for this endangered species, and adorable to boot! Congratulations to the North Carolina Zoo on this great achievement!