BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A pair each of Mexican Gray wolves and Red Wolves call Beardsley Zoo home, where activities to educate the public on wolf conservation are planned all week.
Today, March 27, through April 1 is national #LoboWeek, an effort to educate the American public on the importance of returning wolves to their ancestral home in the Southwest.
There will be learning opportunities and activities all week. Lobo Week runs to Saturday, April 1.
“Both species of wolves at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo are imperiled," said Gregg Danchoo, zoo director.
"It is only through managed breeding and reintroduction that they survive in the wild today. Our wolf exhibits offer our guests an incredible opportunity to see these beautiful and fascinating animals up close.”
The two Mexican gray wolves, a male, Harper, and female, Shy, at the Beardsley Zoo are siblings, born in 2007 at the California Wolf Center in Julian, Calif.
Together with the two Red wolves, they are part of the Species Survival Program, a breeding and management program designed to preserve the long-term sustainability of captive-based animal populations.
The Mexican gray wolves and Red wolves are two of the rarest mammals in North America.
Both species at one time were completely extinct in the wild.
In addition to the two Mexican gray wolves at Beardsley, there are two Red wolves. All four are extremely rare and on the Endangered Species list.
It has been 19 years since 11 captive-reared Mexican gray wolves were released into the wild in Arizona and New Mexico as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act.
Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, returning the Mexican gray wolf, or “lobo” to the wild was a significant milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation efforts.
More than a million wolves were killed in the U.S. between 1850 and 1900.
In 1907, a call was made for the extinction of the entire species. Throughout the wolf’s history, they have been hunted and reviled due to fear and misunderstanding.
Beardsley Zoo at 1875 Noble Ave. is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Click the zoo website here for information.