Six endangered red wolf pups born at the Great Plains Zoo

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:13 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The red wolf is one of the most endangered animal species.

It’s estimated there are only about two dozen red wolves surviving in the wild right now.

The conservation team at the Great Plains Zoo is putting in a lot of work to save the species from going extinct.

The red wolves at the Great Plains Zoo are part of what’s called the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. It aims to breed pairs with the greatest possible genetic diversity, with the goal of bolstering the wild population.

“We try to keep them as wild as possible, we do not want them to associate people as a good thing, so we are completely hands-off,” said Joel Locke, the Great Plains Zoo Director of Animal Care.

The main goal of these conservation efforts is to re-release these animals back into the wild.

“The red wolves are the most endangered animals we have here on the grounds,” said Zookeeper Angie Blommer. “They’re also truly the only All-American dog species in America, so it’s really important we save them, and we’ve been trying for years.”

Blommer says at one point, there were only 14 red wolves known in existence.

Conservation efforts have been going strong to keep the animals around.

“The only way we can save the red wolf is by having babies and keeping those genetics going,” said Blommer.

Just a few weeks ago, on May 4th, six new red wolf pups joined the pack at the Great Plains Zoo.

Four males and two females were born to first-time parents Camelia and Uyosi.

“So it’s very fun for us but it’s also really exciting for the zoo’s conversation efforts and their species as a whole because every single wolf that is born is very, very valuable to their species,” said Blommer.

The little ones are being closely monitored by video.

They’re just now starting to venture out and you may even catch a glimpse of one during your next visit.

“They’re starting to kind of play now which is super fun to watch, they’re starting to come out of their boxes more often so mom is taking them on little walks around the yard.”

The six new pups are less than a month old and are giving hope to the next generation and the resurgence of the red wolf species in America.

“This is the highlight of being a zookeeper is seeing all this hard work pay off, and knowing that we’re doing everything we can to help them,” said Blommer.

The Great Plains Zoo now offers extended evening hours on Wednesdays.

For a full list of hours and admission information, visit