A new male red wolf has been added to the Salisbury Zoo’s animal family.
The 4-year-old male wolf is from the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Mo.
“Scout”, who was born at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, was chosen as a good genetic match for the Salisbury Zoo’s female wolf.
Scout was introduced to the Zoo’s red wolf enclosure on Saturday and now can be seen there as he settles into his new home.
The red wolf exhibit, along with the Richard and Patricia Hazel Delmarva Trail at the Salisbury Zoo, was built in 2006 thanks to a donation from the Hazel family.
The red wolf is an endangered species that once was classified as extinct in the wild. The Salisbury Zoo is one of 43 facilities participating in the Red Wolf Species Survival Program.
Through coordinated captive breeding programs zoos help to maintain healthy and genetically diverse animal populations within the zoo community and to reintroduce the animal into the wild.
Through the pioneering work of the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and the collaboration of organizations like the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums every effort is made to ensure sound conservation approaches to the recovery of the red wolf.
With such a small population of red wolves, finding animals that have genetic compatibility is very complex and time consuming.
Debbie Graham, the Salisbury Zoo’s veterinarian technician, is the Zoo’s representative for this important program.
This past July, the Salisbury Zoo lost its female red wolf, the mother of five red wolf pups born at the Salisbury Zoo in 2008. The father of that litter was successfully reintroduced back into the wild at the Alligator River National Refuge center in North Carolina.
All but one of the five offspring were transferred to other breeding facilities. The one remaining female offspring was selected this past July at the Red Wolf Recovery program meeting in Ohio as a good genetic match to pair with the male from the Endangered Wolf Center.
Thanks to the hard work of these organizations the world’s population of red wolves has risen from a low of 14 individuals to about 100 red wolves in the wild and 200 in captive breeding facilities throughout the United States.