All About Canis RufusBy Allison Espiritu
The Red Wolf (also known by its Latin name, Canis Rufus) is a very beautiful animal that once roamed a wide range of mountains, lowland forests, and wetlands of the southeastern United states. Almost hunted to the brink of extinction, in 1980 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service took fewer than 20 pure Red Wolves to be bred in captivity.
“To enhance the genetic diversity of Red Wolves in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Red Wolf Recovery Program places captive-born red wolf pups with wild mothers and their pups in a method called ‘fostering,'” states Defenders of Wildlife.
According to Defenders of Wildlife, today, more than 100 Red Wolves can be found in more than 1.7 million acres throughout northeastern North Carolina, including Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.
There are about 300 Red Wolves in the United States living in both captivity and the wild.
Red Wolves are slender, have long legs and ears, and short fur. Their fur comes in mixtures of cinnamon, tawny, gray and black. However, in the winter they live up to their name, as they take on a more reddish color.
They are nocturnal animals who are shy and secretive and hunt alone or in small packs. Their diet consists of small mammals such as rabbits and rodents, and they have also been known to eat insects, berries, and the occasional deer.
An adult Red Wolf can weight between 40 to 80 pounds and they can live 6 to 8 years in the wild.