Red wolf in exhibit
Scientific Name
Canis rufus
North Carolina
A handful of forests and marshes
Estimated Wild Population
More than 30
Red wolf in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Critically Endangered Endangered Status Graph - Critically Endangered

More Information

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.

Did You Know?

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

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.

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

Species Survival Plan logo

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®.

Learn More

SAFE: Saving animals From Extinction logo

Saving Animals From Extinction

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

Learn More

Animal Care staff working with seal

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.

Learn More

Support Your Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

Adopt an Animal

Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

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.

Browse the Wish List

African penguin eating a fish

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.

Take Action

Empty Playlist