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NC: Organizations rally to keep red wolf recovery program active

By Maria Satira

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Citizens and organizations in eastern North Carolina are getting together this week in an effort to keep the red wolf recovery program active.

According to local conservationists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering abandoning its red wolf recovery program this fall.

There are fewer than 40 remaining red wolves in the world, which roam eastern North Carolina.

A rally is happening in Washington at noon on Tuesday and another in Raleigh on Wednesday

The Washington rally is happening at Festival Park and will feature speakers including Ron Sutherland, conservation scientist, Wildlands Network; Kim Wheeler, executive director, Red Wolf Coalition and Attila Nemecz, president of Pamlico Albemarle Wildlife Conservationists.

Wolf experts will be on hand for family-friendly, educational activities during and after the speakers.

The rallies are a collaboration of the Red Wolf Coalition, the Wildlands Network, the Endangered Species Coalition, North Carolina Wildlife Federation and the Center for Biological Diversity.

“It’s simply jaw-dropping that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife is consciously deciding whether to issue a death sentence – knowingly allowing a species found only in the United States to go extinct,” said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “The red wolf has been one of our greatest wildlife success stories and could be again.”

“If the Fish and Wildlife Service pulls the wolves out of our area, it will stick them in zoos and we may never see wild wolves in North Carolina again,” said Attila Nemecz, president of Pamlico Albemarle Wildlife Conservationists. “This would destroy 30 years of ground-breaking conservation work that the agency and its partners have carried out. There are only five counties in all of the South where you can hear wolves howling. It is our responsibility as residents of the recovery area to keep these creatures wild.”

Click here for details on the Washington rally.

Click here for details on the Raleigh rally.