Our red wolf pups are growing up into adolescents – and now they have dyed fur to boot.
Now 18 weeks old, the pups born on May 10 are now between 22-28 pounds each – that’s around half the weight of their petite mom, Charlotte. They’ll keep gaining around a pound a week for the next three months, estimates Senior Staff Biologist Jennifer Donovan.
“Right now is when they grow the most,” she says. “They love playing!”
From soft, roly-poly bundles the pups now have huge ears and impossibly long legs, growing in their adult guard hairs to better camouflage in the long grass of their native habitat.
Their eyes have changed from youngster blue/gray to adult gold/amber, says Donovan, and by the time they’re six months old they’ll be difficult to distinguish from mom Charlotte and dad Hyde.
And since they’re changing so much, keepers have given them each a temporary fur dye in a rainbow of colors to easily ID and care for them. Here’s the slate to watch for when you visit:
- Camellia – pink/purple
- Chester – turquoise/black
- Magnolia – pink/black
- Willow – pink
- Cypress – turquoise/purple
- Myrtle – pink/turquoise
- Hawthorn – turquoise
- Peat – who is easily recognizable by her darker face – has no fur dye.
American red wolves are native to North America, and are the most endangered canine species in the world: Only 256 remain, with around 25 left in the wild. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has been a leader in protecting and restoring this species from the brink of extinction.
Come meet the pack all over again!
MEET KEEPERS: Every day at 2pm at the Red Wolf Keeper Chat.