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Red wolf pups at Miller Park Zoo

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[June 28, 2012]  BLOOMINGTON -- Miller Park Zoo is celebrating another birth of rare red wolf puppies. The zoo's red wolves, Kai and Bruiser, are again parents with a spring litter of two new pups.

Zoo superintendent Jay Tetzloff says Kai gave birth to one male pup and one female pup earlier this spring. The pups are now emerging from the den box and are visible in the red wolf habitat at the zoo.

"This is the third spring that Kai has delivered pups," Tetzloff says. "This is a great success for the national Red Wolf Species Survival Program."

"Red wolves are an endangered species," Tetzloff adds. "Through our program at Miller Park Zoo we have been able to reintroduce some animals to the wild."

The zoo has exhibited red wolves since 1993. Two years ago, the pair produced a litter of pups that were the first red wolves born since 1994.

In 1970 there were only 14 pure red wolves known to be alive in the world. By 1980, those wolves had been removed from the wild to establish a breeding program to restore the population. Now there are approximately 179 red wolves in 40 institutions.

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Conservation and reintroduction programs not only help keep the species from extinction, but also restore the ecosystems where the wolves once lived. As predators, red wolves help to maintain the balance and population of the different species they prey upon.

Sharp-eyed visitors will be able to view the pups in the zoo's red wolf habitat. The zoo staff has planned special enrichment activities for the wolves during Animal Enrichment Day on July 14, from 1 to 3 p.m.

[Text from Miller Park Zoo news release received from Bloomington Parks and Recreation]


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