The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News has a new member: An 11-year-old female American red wolf.
The wolf was acquired from the Brevard Zoo in Florida several months ago, said Judy Triska, spokeswoman for the museum.
“She had to acclimate to her surroundings,” Triska said. “There is a whole process to introducing them.”
The museum had to slowly introduce the female wolf to her surroundings to reduce stress before placing her in the same enclosure with the museum’s other wolf, a male.
The male wolf’s father, Papa, died earlier this year.
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Wolves are pack animals so museum officials thought the pairing would provide companionship to both animals since both wolves were living alone, according to the VLM’s news release.
“They really need that pack mentality,” Triska said. “They are meant to be with others.”
The female wolf is part of the Species Survival Plan to reintroduce the wolf into the wild — it’s unclear if the animal will be reintroduced to the wild at this point.
According to the news release, red wolves are the most endangered mammal in North America and the only place where they live in the wild is Alligator River in North Carolina.
The newly acquired female red wolf is not named yet and is now living with the male wolf in the outdoor trail habitat.
“We haven’t officially decided on a naming contest,” Triska said.