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#42 Red Wolf

Critically Endangered

Continuing the red theme.

Some red wolves have a more coyote kind of look to them, and others have a mostly wolfish face, just redder colouration. I tried for an in-between look here. Red wolves bridge the size gap between coyotes and grey wolves. While grey wolves can be up to 175 pounds (and smaller), the red wolf grows up to a max of about 80 pounds, with coyotes topping out around 45 pounds. These, and really all wolves, are suffering because of people's irrational fear of wolves. There are likely only 9 or 10 left in the wild, though some feel there may be up to 30. After having been declared extinct in 1980, captive breeding programs helped bring them back, but unfortunately government, ranchers, and developers still do not want them there.

Wolves seem to love me, and my dream is to see a wolf in the wild. If I did better in cold weather I would go to Yellowstone in the winter, hang out, and hope to be able to see them in their natural habitat. Really, I would prefer to see one in Oregon while on a hike, but I know my chances are almost zero that will ever happen.

Captivity is where I've had a chance to interact with wolves. There used to be 2 wolves at our zoo for a while. They would actually come when I called them. I would sit at the edge of the enclosure (they were a ways down from the pathway you walked on past them) and talk to them. They would stay there, paws on the wall, talking to me and ignoring everyone else who tried to get their attention. The other wolf I had a nice encounter with was owned by a family I went to high school with, they had several rescued ones I think it was. They brought one to school for a science fair. The wolf didn't let any of the other people at the fair pet him, but kept trying to get to me to snuggle. I don't know why, but I was very honoured that he chose me to be his friend.

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