Endangered red wolf pup born at Illinois zoo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A new baby has arrived at Illinois’ Henson Robinson Zoo.

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According to WICS and WRSP, the Springfield attraction announced that red wolves Pepper and Red welcomed a male pup, Ranger, on May 13. Since his birth, the new arrival’s weight has doubled, zoo officials said.

That’s good news for the species, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources considers critically endangered. Only about 20 to 30 mature red wolves live in the wild, according to the organization’s website.

The zoo’s director, Doug Hotle, said the pup’s parents came to the facility for a breeding program, which he described as “a dating service for endangered species,” WICS reported.

“While this isn’t our first red wolf birth here at the zoo, this one is quite significant as it adds new genetics to the overall wolf recovery program,” Hotle said, according to the news outlet. “The Henson Robinson Zoo is proud to be a part of this critically important program.”

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