Red wolf in exhibit

Red Wolf

Scientific Name

Canis rufus

Class

Mammalia

Order

Carnivora

Range

North Carolina

Habitat

A handful of forests and marshes

Estimated Wild Population

More than 30
Red wolf in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Critically Endangered IUCN Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

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Physical Description

Named for their red-tinged fur, red wolves are smaller than gray wolves, their better-known cousins. Males are typically larger than females and can weigh up to 90 pounds. They prey on a range of species, including raccoons, deer, rodents, and small mammals. Packs typically consist of a breeding pair and their offspring from the previous year, although they sometimes form larger groups. Females rear their young in well-hidden dens near stream banks, downed logs, sand knolls, or even drain pipes and culverts.

Interesting Fact 1

Red wolves communicate using a long, low-pitched howl, as well as barks, growls, and yaps.

Interesting Fact 2

Farmers and ranchers have historically killed these wolves to protect their livestock. However, scientists have since shown that the wolves primarily pursue non-domestic prey.

Interesting Fact 3

Each pack controls a distinct territory marked by scents, urine, and feces.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Saving Animals From Exctinction

AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction focuses the collective expertise within AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and leverages their audiences to save species.

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Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

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Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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