Located in Explore the Wild, a six-acre woodland habitat and thriving wetland site where you can use the tools of a wildlife biologist, the Museum’s wolf habitat features two red wolves (Canis rufus) which serve as important ambassadors for the Red Wolf Species Survival Program. A pool with waterfall and a covered wolf den provide spaces for cooling off and relaxing while a rock quarry wall provides a naturalistic backdrop and vertical climbing challenge. Visitor-controlled cameras allow for an up-close look at wolf behavior inside and outside of the den.
Why do red wolves need our help?
Once a top predator throughout the southeastern United States, the red wolf is now categorized as critically endangered. To protect the remaining red wolf population, a managed breeding program was established in 1973 at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The success of this breeding program led to the reintroduction of red wolves to North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in 1987. Red wolves now inhabit a five-county area in northeastern North Carolina and although their numbers have grown, gunshot, vehicle strikes, and habitat loss continue to threaten their survival. The red wolf is one of our planet’s most endangered species.