This wolf used to run wild in Missouri, but it's been more than 70 years since one was spotted in the wild. There are efforts now to make sure the red wolf not only doesn't go extinct, but makes a comeback.

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I ended up on this red wolf rabbit trail after I came across a video from the Missouri Department of Conservation dating back a dozen years. It's a brief discussion of red wolves and their rare Missouri appearances.

Here's how they described the red wolf situation in Missouri in a nutshell:

The red wolf looks similar to the coyote, although it is larger. It weighs up to 90 pounds and often reaches lengths of 4 feet. The last sighting of a wild red wolf in Missouri was in 1950. In 1981, less than 100 red wolves remained in the U-S. But a captive breeding program near St. Louis is helping to restore the red wolf population in the southwestern United States.

The coyote resemblance is uncanny.

The captive breeding program mentioned by the Missouri Department of Conservation is the Endangered Wolf Center in St. Louis. They claim that over 400 wolf pups have been born in their care.

The effort to save the American red wolf now includes the St. Louis Zoo as Fox 2 reported last year. They have a 20 acre property being converted to help save these animals. They said they have 12 breeding pairs as a part of this effort.

The red wolf is still in danger, but the population is now growing as these Missouri organizations continue to fight the good fight for these animals.

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