23 June 2015: Conservation Groups Condemn Killing
of Red Wolf Mother
Following the gunshot death of a critically endangered female red wolf mother in the Red Wolf Recovery Area of eastern North Carolina, conservation groups demanded that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ensure the survival of the world’s only wild red wolf population, including an unknown number of puppies, mothered by this wolf, that may remain in the wild.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the killing of the female wolf last week, despite the fact that telemetry data showed the known breeder to be exhibiting denning behavior. Service staff report that they have not had access to the property with the suspected den site for at least two years; therefore any puppies could not be retrieved or their health assessed. Red wolves typically give birth in late April or early May. It is unknown how many puppies may exist. The female wolf killed was six years old and had four previous litters. The loss of any breeding adult red wolf is a significant setback to recovery of this critically endangered species.