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LBL Receives Red Wolf

Land Between the Lakes recently received a 3-year old female red wolf from the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee. She will be a partner to LBL’s 7-year old male red wolf who lost his 15-year old partner in 2009. The red wolf is related to the gray wolf and coyote, but it is the only one of the species that is found exclusively in the United States.

Both the gray wolf and red wolf are currently on the Federal Endangered Species List.
Bill Lisowsky, LBL’s Area Supervisor, invites everyone to come out and visit the new female red wolf. “The Nature Station has 150 species of native plants and 43 different species of animals. Other than our four red wolves in the captive breeding program each animal including our bald eagle, bobcat, vultures, coyotes, turkeys, and snakes are rescue animals that could no longer survive on their own.”
From 1973 to 1980, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured every single red wolf in the United States and declared the species officially extinct in the wild. This drastic measure was taken to establish a captive breeding program to save the red wolf population. Red wolves were being forced to breed with coyotes that moved into their territory jeopardizing the survival of the red wolf as a species.
Genetic testing that was performed on the 400 captured wolves revealed that only 14 were truly red wolves. In 1984 the USFWS and the American Zoo and Aquarium Association took this tiny remaining population and implemented a captive breeding program for the red wolf. LBL became a partner for that program in 1991.
NS Lead Naturalist, John Pollpeter, said he was excited about the opportunity to host the new wolf and educate the public about red wolves, which used to be native to LBL. “Since we began with the last 14 red wolves in the United States we have been able to expand that population to 300. Red wolves generally mate for life; we’ve had wolf puppies at NS in the past and we’re hoping our new wolf partnership will produce puppies in the future.”

Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to various national publications.



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