Red Wolf (Canis rufus)

Red wolves were brought to the brink of extinction in the wild due to hunting, trapping, poisoning and
extreme competition with coyotes. With the help of zoos and the American Zoo and Aquarium Association's Species Survival Plan (SSP), wild Red wolves were captured and bred in zoos. In 1987 a reintroduction program was started in North Carolina. Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo contributed eight wolf pups, bred right here in Bridgeport, to this reintroduction program.

The SSP has arranged for two new red wolves here at the Zoo. A male arrived in December from a nature refuge in South Carolina and should be on exhibit by the time you read this, a female arrived January 17 from Burnett Park Zoo in Syracuse, NY (our female went to live at that zoo). She should join her "mate" by late February. Hopefully we will hear the pitter patter of tiny paws within the year!


They have short reddish brown to tawny grey fur, long legs and large ears. They stand 18"-26" (45- 6cm) at the shoulder and weigh 40-90 pounds (16- 2kg).


Dense mountain and bottomland forests, marshes, swamps, and coastal prairies.


Once found from central Texas to southern Pennsylvania to Florida.


Rabbits, muskrats, nutria, and other small animals" they tend to hunt alone or with their mate.

Life Span: 

14 years in captivity.

Family Life: 

Usually solitary or in small immediate family units of 3-4 individuals. The breeding season is January to March. Females give birth to 4-7 pups after a 58-65 day gestation period.