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Red wolf pack being transferred to Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke

(WDBJ)
Published: Dec. 7, 2019 at 9:42 AM EST
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A pack of red wolves is moving to Roanoke next year!

The Museum of Life and Science announced Friday recommendations from the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) for a transfer of eight members of the Museum’s endangered red wolf family to a larger, half-acre habitat at the

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The move will likely happen in January.

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The relocation of two adults, Moose and Cary, and the six pups born at the Museum in late April — Bronto, Rocket, Sprout, Lunar, Mist, and Carolina — will help provide more open space for the wolves and allow for better management of their breeding cycles. The two wolves remaining at the Museum, adolescent brothers Ellerbe and Eno, will benefit as well from having more space.⁣⁣ “Any time we transfer wolves, it's hard,” said Sherry Samuels, Director of Animal Care for the Museum. “While it’s sad, it's the right move for the individual animals and the species. They're heading to a space that's double the size, which is not only better for them, but better for the wolves that remain behind here.”

Museum staff will manage the transfer and transport the wolves in vans.

The wolves will be carefully corralled in their habitat and put into crates before the move.

There comes a time to say goodbye. With a recommendation from the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) we announce the...

Posted by Museum of Life and Science on Friday, December 6, 2019

Prior to their departure, each wolf will receive a hands-on vet check to verify their health. All six pups completed their last “well pup” check-in early September and were found to be in excellent health.

The Mill Mountain Zoo is less than three hours from the Museum, so a team of drivers will bring them to their new home with minimal or no stops. “They're heading to another cooperating institution that knows what it’s doing. They're going to have more space. We're keeping two wolves here in our space,” Samuels said. “And at the same time, for the bigger picture, sending a family of wolves to a new institution means that thousands of new visitors will learn about these animals and the efforts to protect and preserve their species.”

While saying goodbye to the wolves will be difficult for both staff and visitors of the Museum, Samuels says that the transfer is the right thing to do for the long-term survival of the species.

The network of zoos and animal preserves that works together to help protect the red wolves makes decisions that will best improve their odds of long-term survival, and animal relocations are a key part of that process. “The fate of the red wolves is in the hands of 42 cooperating Red Wolf SSP institutions,” Samuels said. “We have to work together in order to do right by these individual animals, and do right by the species, whether that's easy or hard or sad. The wolves that come to the museum are only here temporarily from the very beginning. This is just a stop on their way, but we're still attached to them,” Samuels said. “It's going to be hard to see them go, but this is the right choice for these animals.”

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