• Online survey open to name rare red wolf pups

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff


    TACOMA, Wash. - Those eight red wolf pups born nearly two weeks ago at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma may get their names soon.

    On Wednesday, zoo officials opened an online survey to help name the animals.

    Through what zoo officials said was geographic sleuthing, they came up with two slates of names to vote on for the five girls and three boys born to their mom Charlotte and dad Hyde.

    Each pup weighed 11 to 13 ounces. 

    The contending names that will represent places in Hyde County, N.C., which is part of the native range area for the wolves, will be Buxton, Bogs, Macley, Widgen, Carmur, Slade, Ponser and Mackay. 

    Hawthorn, Chester, Cypress, Magnolia, Camellia, Myrtle, Peat and Willow, are also names that can be selected and represent the varied trees, bushes and plants that grow in the wolves’ native region.

    The naming survey will be open for a few weeks as the pups bond with their mom and ready to emerge in an area visible to zoo visitors, zoo officials said.

    This is the second litter of red wolf pups born at the zoo over the last seven years, officials said. 

    "They have no idea how important they are, "senior staff biologist Jenn Donovan said. "These pups are the future of their critically endangered species. But for now, they're just busy being adorable."

    There are 40 red wolves in the wild and just over 250 in zoos and wildlife centers across the nation, making them critically endangered, officials said.

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