It’s always a special day for a zoo when new baby animals are born, especially when they’re members of an endangered species. Each new arrival is a step towards ensuring their survival for another generation.
Now, one zoo is celebrating the inspiring arrival of six red wolf cubs, a sign of hope for this critically endangered species.
The Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, recently announced that six pups, two females and four males, were born to parents Camelia and Uyosi.
According to a press release, the first-time parents arrived at the zoo in October, mated in accordance with the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to breed pairs with the greatest genetic diversity to bolster the wild population.
The red wolf has been listed as a critically endangered species by the IUCN since 1996, and are listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Recovery programs have brought the species back from the brink of extinction, but they are still greatly at risk: according to the zoo, they are the most endangered canid species in the world with only about two dozen living in the wild.
So these six newborns are an inspiring step forward in protecting this critically endangered species, and thankfully the pups are doing well, bonding with their parents.
“Camelia and Uyosi are amazing parents, I wouldn’t expect anything less from them,”, GPZ Animal Care Director Joel Locke said in the press release. “We are fortunate to have vet staff and animal care staff that have worked with red wolves for more than 15 years. We had our last litter from our previous pair of red wolves in 2016, so the team is well-versed in red wolf care.”
The newborn litter will soon be available for viewing at the zoo as the pups “get bigger and braver,” but zookeepers ask visitors to keep their voices low as new wolf parents are “especially susceptible to environmental stressors.”
What beautiful newborns, and a great sign of hope for this critically endangered species! Please share this amazing news! ❤️🐺