Columbia, NC

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed this week that a 4-year-old red wolf has been killed in a roadway collision with a vehicle. The wolf was one of four previously captive adult wolves released into the wild in late April, as required by a recent court decision. With roughly 20 wolves left in the wild near Alligator River on the Albemarle Peninsula, the red wolf is the world’s most endangered wolf species. This red wolf was the second roadway death this year.

Ben Prater, Southeast program director at Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement: 

“With just a few red wolves remaining in the wild, even a single wolf death is a major setback. This tragic loss demonstrates why we must stand firm to ensure that more captive red wolves are released into the wild. It also reminds us of the critical need to safely coexist with wildlife, especially along our roadways.”

Red wolf
Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

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