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Springfield Park District Announces Birth of Rare Wolf




Contact: Doug Hotle, Zoo Director
Phone: 217-843-0360
Email: dhotle@springfieldparks.org

The Springfield Parks District is excited to announce the birth of a Red Wolf at the Henson Robinson Zoo. The red wolf is considered the most endangered of all the canids. “Ranger” was born on May 13th, is doing well, and has already doubled in weight!

This is the first birth for mother “Pepper” and father “Red” who came to the zoo last year as part of a critical breeding program for this highly endangered species.

This is a significant birth at the zoo. The Henson Robinson Zoo is partnered with the United States Fish and Wildlife Services and other zoos as part of the Red Wolf Recovery Program. Once abundant through the Eastern United States, their population had dropped to just 14 individuals by 1972. To avert the total extinction of the red wolf, the United States Fish and Wildlife Services and select Zoos stepped in and began a conservation program. Through this captive breeding program, the population of wild red wolves is now at over 25 individuals and captive red wolf populations exceed 250 nationwide. The wolves are carefully paired based upon their genetics, “It’s kind of like a dating service for endangered species” says Doug Hotle, Zoo director. Many of the young wolves are released into the wild regularly to bolster the wild population.

“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. The Henson Robinson Zoo is proud to be a part of this critically important program. Every successful birth strengthens the remaining wild populations of this iconic animal” says Hotle. “This is what modern zoos are all about. The Henson Robinson Zoo is involved in numerous conservation efforts and the staff here is dedicated to playing an important role in preserving the biodiversity of this amazing planet that we live on”.

Visitors can keep an eye open and perhaps catch a glimpse of little Ranger as he begins to venture out of the den and explore the new world around him.

The Henson Robinson Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. located at 1100 E. Lake Shore Drive in Springfield, IL Ph: 217-585-1821


For more info on any other Park District news related items, visit www.springfieldparks.org.