Enigmatic, elusive and once declared extinct in the wild, the red wolf's story is one of unfolding mystery and charisma. With fewer than 300 animals in existence, and perhaps just 30 left in the wild, these remarkable creatures are found solely in the United States and are among the rarest species on the planet. Red wolves, which are smaller than gray wolves, once ranged across the southeastern United States, but years of hunting and habitat loss drove them to the brink of extinction by the late 1960s. In 1987, red wolves were reintroduced into the wild in North Carolina after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instituted a captive-breeding program. They adapted well to their native forests, swamps and coastal prairies, yet they continue to struggle due to habitat degradation, illegal hunting and the threat of hybridization with coyotes, which have moved into their terrain. Join Zoologist Jim Knox, Curator of Education for Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and a popular TEDx speaker, to meet the animal behind the mystery and learn what we can do to ensure the red wolf’s survival.
Originally presented January 29, 2021
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