published Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Chattanooga Nature Center welcomes two red wolf pups

Red wolf pups were born on April 29 at the Chattanooga Nature Center. The red wolf is one of the world’s Top 10 endangered species.

Contributed Photo by Jeremy Hooper
Red wolf pups were born on April 29 at the Chattanooga Nature Center. The red wolf is one of the world’s Top 10 endangered species. Contributed Photo by Jeremy Hooper

There were an estimated 300 red wolves in the United States at the end of April. Now there are 302 after the birth of two pups at the Chattanooga Nature Center.

The pair of pups, born April 29, and mother are doing well, Nature Center officials said.

“We are excited that the Nature Center has been successful in our endeavor to help bring a species back from the brink of extinction,” said Dr. Jean Lomino, the center’s executive director, in a news release.

Nature Center officials are discussing the newest additions to the facility at a news conference this morning.

The red wolf is one of the world’s top ten endangered species.

A litter of three males and two females were born at the Nature Center in 2007, the most recent red wolf births.

Since 1996, the nature center has participated in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, a cooperative population management and conservation program for endangered species at zoos, aquariums and nature centers in North America, according to The plan was established to build the red wolf population.

“The Species Survival Plan manages the breeding of each species in order to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse and demographically stable, self-sustaining population. It focuses the efforts of many different institutions into a single consistent program for conservation through research, education, reintroduction and field efforts,” the website notes.

“The birth of these pups proves that the parents are genetically valuable. It makes them being in the top 10 male and female in the country,” Gailmard said. “We need them to increase the diversity in the blood line. The were together as a breeding pair last year and did not produce, and they have been with other breeding individuals with no luck. But now, they are proven producers.”

There are currently six adult red wolves and two pups at the nature center.

“With only 300 captive and in the wild, there are not many red wolves,” she said. “Chattanooga is definitely a key player in helping to change that.”

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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dao1980 said...

It's nice to hear about a species with currently low numbers on comeback.

They're cute little things, but try to cuddle one in a year from now. Growing up on a farm out on Hwy60 that was used as a shelter for animals of all kinds, you quickly learn the true meaning of domestic as opposed to non-domestic.

Ha, I laugh at myself remembering a litter of red fox pups that I thought were the best thing to ever show up... until they weren't pups any more. They have sharp little teeth!

May 11, 2011 at 10:46 a.m.
ironvalentine said...

Wasn't that April 29?

May 11, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.
dao1980 said...

AAHHH! I didn't even realize that these are pups from the future!!

How did they solve the eternal mystery of time travel?!

May 11, 2011 at 11:31 a.m.
dave said...

gee just what we need here...wolves. Our fore fathers fought and dreamed of a time when they would wipe this scourge from this area so all could live in peace without the threat of being attacked by a pack of wild beasts. Today, Coyote (similar) are on the comeback and attacking small animals.Attacks on small children have been reported. What are you thinking? We don't need this here...Let them raise them in Yellowstone..this is another "great idea" like Milfoil, Cudzu and walking catfish. NOT NEEDED!

May 11, 2011 at 8:26 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Adorable. Glad to see these little pups. Love the Chattanooga Nature Center.

May 13, 2011 at 7:30 a.m.
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