Potential love connection on St. Vincent Island

Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 16:14 PM.

“This is like an early Christmas present for St. Vincent Island,” said Trish Petrie of the Friends of St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge. “(Refuge manager) Shelly (Stiaes) is so excited.”

It is vital that a healthy number of red wolves be maintained in the wild and captivity, especially since the species has literally come under fire recently. Nine wild red wolves have been illegally shot this year, six of them this fall.

While the public can visit St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, access and usage are limited, so the pair should be free of any human threats.

The WCC partnered with Lighthawk, a non-profit aviation organization devoted to environmental protection, to fly the potential Romeo to the refuge to meet his Juliet, which is currently one of two wolves living on the island.

The other wolf, a female, along with the male from Tallahassee she failed to breed with will be flown back to the WCC to live with a new potential mate.

The new red wolf at St. Vincent Island has educated online viewers of the WCC’s videos and webcams since he was a playful pup, but is now assuming his most important role.

“We’re excited for him because he’ll get to roam around a new territory with his partner and hopefully have pups. He’ll be living life the way a wolf should,” said Maggie Howell, the WCC’s executive director, “This is precisely why we participate in the SSP program.”

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