As I walked up the ramp, I looked around the overgrown field when I saw in the bush, the figure of a sleeping red wolf. It was hidden away in the bush, and I was barely able to see it. It was an incredible sight.
Red wolves are a critically endangered species. They went extinct in the wild in the 1980s and were only in captivity where scientists worked to keep the species alive and thriving. Through the years, red wolves have been reintroduced in the wild, but their condition has not improved. They are doing well in captivity, but not in the wild.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, red wolves were commonly found from North Carolina to the midwest. Through the years, their territory has shrunk drastically to a small part of North Carolina as their population has decreased.
From National Geographic, the reason why red wolves are so critically endangered is because of humans. They are shot because people think they are predators or just for the sake of hunting. Another leading cause of their deaths was being hit by cars. The scientists who are working on this have communicated with the communities in the area to raise awareness about the red wolves and how they should be careful, but some people would not listen. It is illegal to kill the animals; although they are still found with gunshot wounds.
Signs in Van Saun Park say that red wolves have been slowly introduced into the wild again since 1987. These efforts were going well when they peaked in 2006. Since then, the number of red wolves in the wild has been decreasing rapidly. Currently, there is an estimated amount of 17-20 in the wild as of August 2021. In captivity, there are 245.
In the wild, red wolves were once seen as top predators, but now they have almost gone extinct. If it was not for scientists who are working to prevent this, they would be. Scientists have been working hard to bring up the population of red wolves in the wild, but it has been quite a struggle.
The reintroduction of animals into the wild is important. It can help the environment go back to the way it was. Mrs. Post, when asked if she thinks endangered species can be reintroduced into the wild after they became extinct in the wild, said, “Sometimes you can’t pinpoint what is going on and you know that they are declining but you are not really sure, your vaguely sure it’s humans but a lot of the time you can’t tell.”