Checking in on LP Zoo's red wolves

July 20, 2010 10:28:26 AM PDT
Now a year old, ABC7's Frank Mathie visits five red wolf pups at Lincoln Park Zoo. When they were born on April 21, 2007, it was big news. The red wolf is extremely endangered in the wild. Now, the three females and two males are full grown.

The red wolf pups are part of a program to save an endangered species. In the wild, there are only about 100 red wolves left. Therefore, zoos are helping them survives.

"The year has gone really well. Health-wise all five pups have done really well. The pack has maintained its integrity very well," said Dan Boehm, Zoological Manager Lincoln Park Zoo.

The wolves are doing so well that there's a good chance they might be moving to other zoos in a few months to start their own families. So, if you want to see them, do it now before they move on.

Wolves are a hot topic within the zoo community. In Yellowstone Park, the gray wolf has made a comeback- and is off the endangered species list. But, the comeback does have some consequences.

"The wolves get out of the Yellowstone Park area into the surrounding areas and the ranchers are concerned about predation on their livestock. That's one of the big controversies," said Joanne Earnhardt, Animal Population Biologist. "The last I heard since they were delisted there were ten that were shot- but that's just within a week and a half."

Unlike the gray wolf, the red wolf is probably a few generations from returning to the wild.

Gray Wolf Reintroduction Program Event

On Wednesday, April 16, Lincoln Park Zoo will host an exclusive speaking engagement with Mike Phillips, former project leader for gray wolf reintroduction efforts in Yellowstone National Park. He is also the current executive director of the Turner Endnagered Species Fund.

For information on the event, visit lpzoo.org. Tickets are $20.


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