I was notified last night that the female wolf, F2062, was acting very antsy. Seems like she knew Earth Day was the day to deliver her pups. Welcome to these six amazing little ones. The future of red wolves relies on these new additions and facilities like us and our partner institutions. We provide opportunities not only for breeding, but also to share information about this critically endangered species. Hopefully we are making more red wolf advocates along with more red wolves! All the excitement about the new additions has to be balanced with the reality that the next days to weeks are an incredibly sensitive time. Pup survival in the first thirty days is not a given. We’ve lived through this the past two years, and while we hope it doesn’t happen this year, we have to be prepared. Death is a part of life, especially for newborn red wolves. We do a quick hands on check of the pups as soon as we’re confident all the pups have been born. We get weights, make sure the pups are warm, look for any concerns, and focus on their feet in particular. Foot abrasions are common in the first week and can lead to death. Three pups had slightly pink feet, but no abrasions– yet. (The pups were all born 5:45-7:20 AM this morning according to video footage). The pups were also very loud and squeaky– another good sign. Our work with these pups- and the wolves in general — is a fine balancing act. We try to leave them alone as much as possible. When we do engage, we make sure we have to, and we do it as quickly as we can.
We’ll be checking the family daily, but our schedule for hands-on checks isn’t written in stone. Ask questions as you have them and we’ll keep you posted about the good, the sad, the difficult, and the challenging.