WNC Nature Center welcomes new red wolves

link to story

As part of its Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, the WNC Nature Center recently welcomed two new red wolves to Asheville.

At the same time, two other red wolves formerly in residence at the center have transitioned to another facility in the hope that the move will promote their breeding.


The red wolves at the WNC Nature Center have long been a part of the important Species Survival Plan (SSP) program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Through this program, the WNC Nature Center has proudly seen 13 red wolf pups born into their care.

The SSP program is designed to assist in conservation and ensure the long-term sustainability of animal populations like the red wolf. This work is critical to the red wolf, whose number in the wild have dwindled below 50 animals. Due to this extremely small wild population, the red wolf is considered scientifically extinct in the wild. It is now up to conservation programs like the SSP to ensure that the red wolf species has a future.


Red wolves, Van and Rozene, have recently left the WNC Nature Center for Fossil Rim Nature Center in Glen Rose, Texas. This transition was recommended by the SSP program since Van and Rozene had not yet successfully bred together. They’re hopeful that a change of scenery might help them to be successful. Van was born at the WNC Nature Center in 2012 and Rozene arrived in 2015 from a zoo in Missouri.


Red wolves Karma and Garnet are the new red wolves at the WNC Nature Center. Karma transitioned from Chehaw Park in Albany, Ga., where she was born. Garnet came from Reflection Riding Nature Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. They are both 3 years old.

The WNC Nature Center is hopeful that the red wolves will be a successful breeding pair and that they could soon welcome more red wolf pups at the center. This important work will contribute to the future of the red wolf species.


About the WNC Nature Center

Asheville’s 42-acre WNC Nature Center is at 75 Gashes Creek Road. Operated by the City of Asheville’s Parks & Recreation Department, the zoological park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The center is home to over 60 species of animals, including river otters, red and gray wolves, black bears, and a cougar. Its mission is to connect people with animals and plants native to the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation. The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information, call 828-259-8080 or visit wildwnc.org.


RELATED: WNC Nature Center Red Panda Exhibit to open Feb. 14