The red wolf is listed as an endangered species under the federal Endangered Species. Historically, red wolves once numbered in thousands. They ranged from Pennsylvania to Florida and Texas. By 1970 there were less than one hundred red wolves living in a small area of coastal Texas and Louisiana. To save the species from extinction, all the remaining red wolves were brought into captivity. Only 14 of these animals were considered true red wolves and they became a part of the captive breeding program.
We visited the Wolf Conservation Center at South Salem, NY this weekend. Nadia had no clue where we were headed. When she was seated in the visitor center and saw all the wolf pictures she started getting suspicious. Her eyes were big with excitement when she figured it out.
We met the ambassador gray wolves Zephyr, Alawa and Nikai. Zephyr is the alpha and is a real sweetheart.
Here is a video of Zephyr howling in response to our howls.
Nadia asked so many questions. She was rather disappointed to hear that to volunteer you had to be a minimum of 16 years old. She has been reading and writing about Wolves at home for 2 months now. A lot of research has been ongoing. She was quite surprised to learn that wolves are actually crepuscular and not nocturnal. “We have to update my notes”, she said 😄
The ambassador wolves are the only ones that we get to visit at the conservation center. The rest of their 49 wolves are wild and have no human contact. Only once a year they meet a human for their health exams. The hope is that these wolves will make it into the wild some day. There are so many risks in the wild, especially of poachers. However as the volunteer at the center put it…”a few days of freedom is better than a life of captivity” 💕
If you are interested in seeing how the wolves behave and interact here’s a link to their webcam.
Do visit the center or their website Wolf Conservation Center. The Wolf Conservation Center teaches people about wolves, their relationship to the environment and the human role in protecting their future.