The Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (RWSSP) is the foundation of the Red Wolf Recovery Program. To let people know what’s happening throughout the program through, we are continuing to feature different RWSSP locations. The RWSSP of the month is the Knoxville Zoo in Knoxville, Tennessee. Originally called Birthday Park, the zoo opened in 1948. Over the years, it flourished, and is currently home to > 900 animals, including 27 threatened and endangered species in different Species Survival Plans.
The Knoxville Zoo is currently home to four red wolves, including breeding pair 1395M and 1607F, and two male siblings, 1735M and 1736M. 1395M was born in 2005 at the Western North Carolina Nature Center (Asheville, NC) and was at Mill Mountain Zoo (Roanoke, VA) before moving to Knoxville in 2010. Female 1607 was born in 2010 at Henson Robinson Zoo (Springfield, IL) and came to Knoxville in 2011. The male siblings were born at Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago, IL) and were transferred from Wildlife Science Center (Forest Lake, MN) in 2012.
The museum first began participating in the RWSSP in December 1990, when red wolf 278F arrived from Oglebay's Good Children's Zoo (Wheeling, WV). One month later, 248F (from Texas Zoo; Victoria, TX) and 297M (from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center; Glen Rose, TX) arrived in Knoxville. Pups were born in 1991, 1992, and 1993. Over the years, approximately 30 individual red wolves have spent time at the zoo. In addition to these contributions of successful breeding pairs, Knoxville Zoo also assisted with the wild reintroduction site in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in the 1990s by providing logistical support and veterinary care when needed.
Knoxville Zoo has also had a large role in red wolf education efforts, both within the RWSSP and public outreach campaigns. They produced the first RWSSP husbandry video in the early 1990s, and more recently have participated in the Quarters for Conservation program, where a quarter ($0.25) of every admission sold is marked for conservation donation. The zoo committee chose the Red Wolf Recovery Program to be a 2014 recipient of conservation funds again this year. In the first year we were involved with the program, the zoo raised over $3500 for red wolf conservation efforts!
Thank you Knoxville Zoo !!
Want to hear the red wolves howl at the zoo? Check out this link!