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Fewer than 25 red wolves
remain in the wild.
Meet the survivors.

Meet The Wolves

Photos by James Ford and Walt Jenkins

Pam

Birth Year:  2019

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: 2225F

Pam is the mother of 11 red wolves across two generations. She gave birth to six pups in 2022 and five pups in 2023—and also fostered a sixth captive-born pup who was placed in her care. She and Airplane Ears were a breeding pair for two years until his death in 2023. Pam is the matriarch of the Milltail pack, and she is now a single mother raising and protecting six pups. She and her offspring are a critical part of the present and future of red wolves. Like many of the red wolves, Pam often spends time in fields with black bears that also forage in the refuge.

 

Airplane Ears

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: 2323M

Killed in September 2023 at age 5 

Airplane Ears was named for his noticeably long and wide ears. He was the father of 11 red wolf pups, and he and Pam were a breeding pair. Airplane Ears sired six pups in 2022 and five more pups in 2023—and in 2023 he raised a sixth pup who was captive-bred and introduced to Pam’s litter. He was fatally struck by a vehicle in late September 2023. 

Dot

Birth Year:  2022

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: 2412F

Dot is the most social and active of the juvenile red wolves. Dot was born in 2022, and her parents are Pam and Airplane Ears. Muppet, Foxy, Chance, and Cinnamon are her littler mates. Dot was the first to disperse from her pack, and she is the most wide-ranging juvenile. Dot is playful, energetic, and curious.

MUPPET

Birth Year:  2022

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: 2410M

Killed by vehicle strike April 2024 at age 2

Muppet was the first-born of the six 2022 pups. He has a conspicuously long neck that distinguishes him. After his father Airplane Ears was killed by a vehicle, Muppet temporarily stepped in to protect his mom and siblings.

Muppet was killed by a vehicle strike in April 2024. He is the fourth red wolf to be killed by vehicle strike in the past year.

Foxy

Birth Year: 2022

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: 2411M

Foxy was the second-born male of the 2022 litter and is named for his distinctive fox-like face and coloration. Foxy helped protect the 2023 litter of pups after their father Airplane Ears died. 




Cinnamon

Birth Year: 2022

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: 2414F

Cinnamon is a female with light brown coloration. She was born to Pam and Airplane Ears. Dot, Foxy, and Muppet are her litter mates. She and her sister Chance are more reclusive than their sister Dot.

Chance

Birth Year: 2022

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: 2413F

Chance is one of six pups born in 2023 to Pam and Airplane Ears. Along with her siblings and parents, she now wears an orange collar to help managers monitor her location and safety.

Finch

Birth Year: 2017

Family:  Milltail Pack

Tag: 2191M

Finch is a captive born male who was released into Milltail Pack territory to mate with Pam after Airplane Ears died. He was kept in an acclimation pen with Cinnamon—one of Pam’s daughters—to help his chances of being accepted into the pack.

Ghost

Birth Year: 2023

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: 2502F

Ghost is elusive and rarely seen. Ghost is one of five pups and one foster pup from the 2023 litter of Pam and Airplane Ears. Ghost often slinks through irrigation ditches to travel stealthily across the refuge.

Pip

Birth Year: 2023

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: 2500M

Pip is a blondish male and the runt of the 2023 litter. He remains smaller than his siblings and has distinctively floppy ears. Pip is shy and elusive, but he gained confidence by shadowing his older brothers and sisters.

Amelia

Birth Year: 2023

Family:  Milltail pack

Tag: TBD

Amelia is similar to her older sister Dot. Both are active, energetic, and bold. Amelia is the most outgoing and adventurous of her 2023 litter mates and moves with confidence across the landscape.

Pathmaker

Rahahę́·tih

Birth Year: 2021

Family:  Pungo Pack

Tag: 2307M

Pathmaker is the breeding male of the Pungo pack. He and Hope gave birth to two female pups in 2023. His Tuscarora name means ‘He Who Makes the Path’ in the language of the indigenous Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina. Pathmaker protects the only pack of red wolves in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

Hope

Yerharahčrę́·tih

Birth Year: 2021

Family:  Pungo pack

Tag: 2361F

Hope is the breeding female of the Pungo pack. She gave birth to two females in 2023. Her Tuscarora name  means ‘She Gives Hope’ in the language of the Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina. Hope protects the only wolf pack in Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

SHIELD

Kayęʔnaʔnęnę́thyar

Birth Year: 2023

Family: Pungo pack

Tag: 2514F

Shield is one of two female pups born in 2023. Her Tuscarora name means ‘She Protects’ in the language of the indigenous Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina. She and her sister Hawkeye are the only two known juveniles in the Pungo pack.

Shadow

Yehahę́hneʔ

Birth Year: 2023

Family:  Milltail Pack

Tag: TBD

Named for his darker coat, Shadow was fostered into the Milltail pack this year to help increase genetic diversity. He was orginially born in a captive breeding facility in Tacoma, Washington. Unfortunately, Shadow was not caught and collared with rest of the pups in the winter of 2023, and he has not been observed since December 2023.

HAWKEYE

Yęʔnewęyéhsthaʔ

Birth Year: 2023

Family: Pungo

Tag: 2515F

Tink is one of two female pups born in 2023. She and 2514F are the only two known juveniles in the Pungo pack.

Listen to the Tuscarora pronunciation of red wolf names and their English translations: