Once a top predator throughout the southeastern United States, the red wolf nearly vanished due to loss of habitat and human persecution. As a result, a managed breeding program was established in 1973 at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to conserve the remaining red wolves and increase their numbers. The success of the breeding program led to the reintroduction of red wolves in 1987 in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina. Red wolves now inhabit a five-county area in northeastern North Carolina, and although their numbers have grown, human caused mortalities, such as gunshot and vehicle strikes, can threaten their survival. The red wolf is one of our planet’s most endangered species.