I can spot a variety of animals in my daily existence, such as common birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and small mammals. But there will always be wildlife that is just a little too wild to find in my neighborhood. That's where my local zoo comes in.
Due to loss of habitat and over hunting, this Red Wolf (canus rufus) was placed on the endangered species list in 1967. By 1973, there were so few of them in the wild, that the US Fish and Wildlife Service made the decision to take the remaining numbers into captivity for care and aggressive breeding. By 1980, they were declared extinct in the wild. The only Red Wolves surviving, were in zoos. But in 1987, the NC Zoo began releasing wolves into the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, in eastern Carolina. Other institutions also released wolves into suitable southeastern habitats. Now, a population of more than 200, of what was an extinct species, once again thrives in the wild.