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The red wolf derives its name from the reddish color of the ears, neck, muzzle, and back of the legs. It is mostly brown and buff with some black along their backs. Weighing 45 to 80 pounds, it is larger than a coyote and smaller than a gray wolf. Red wolves eat white-tailed deer, raccoons and other smaller animals, such as rabbit, squirrels, birds, and mice.

Nearly extinct only a few decades ago, the red wolf has begun to recover with the help of reintroduction and zoo breeding programs. Originally, the red wolf roamed the southeast U.S., as far north as Pennsylvania and as far west as central Texas. Now, the reintroduced wolf populations are confined to highly protected areas in North Carolina and coastal islands off Florida, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

However, the red wolf is still endangered at this time. Learn how you can support the red wolf by making a donation through Friends of the National Zoo's ADOPT A SPECIES program! A special $50 Valentine's package to adopt the red wolf is being offered for February.

Red Wolf by Jessie Cohen / NZP
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