For the second year in a row, Roger Williams Park Zoo announces the birth of two red wolf pups, the world’s most endangered canid species. The pups were born on April 29th.
The dam, Brave (8 years old), and sire, Diego (7 years old), were recommended to breed as part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a cooperative effort among the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions to save species. This is the second litter for this pair, sibling Saluda was born in May 2022.
“The Red Wolf SAFE program’s goal is to support conservation efforts for this species by maintaining a healthy and viable population of red wolves under human care, growing education and awareness efforts, and aiding research vital to supporting recovery and management, “according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
As of February 2023, there were approximately 235 red wolves in 49 Red Wolf SAFE facilities across the country. In the 2021-2022 breeding season, 28 breeding pairs were established and 46 pups in 13 litters were born – of which 29 survived, adding to the SSP population.
Roger Williams Park Zoo zookeepers and the veterinary team continue to monitor mom and baby using an infrared camera located inside the wolves’ birthing den. While the pups have been observed nursing and appear to steadily gain weight, the next month is a critical time for the pups’ development. The cubs have been staying in the den for the first month as they surpass critical milestones such as nursing, opening their eyes, and gaining strength. Both pups have already opened their eyes!
While Diego, the father, may be seen in the wolves’ North American habitat now, the pups and mother will most likely remain mainly in the den, though they have taken their first steps outside over the weekend. Guests may be able to catch a glimpse of the pups as they continue to venture outside of the den.
Until then, the zoo encourages folks to follow the Zoo on Facebook and Instagram for updates on the pup’s progress.
Roger Williams Park Zoo is a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size and has received numerous awards for conservation work done both locally and around the globe.
Roger Williams Park Zoo is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction, and a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size. As leaders in conservation and animal care – we create engaging experiences that empower guests to join us in conserving wildlife and wild places. Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence.