Red wolves are named as such because of the reddish tint to their coats. Smaller than the gray wolf, they grow to be 5.5 feet long, 26 inches high at the shoulder and up to 80 pounds in weight. They live up to seven years in the wild.
These creatures are mainly active at night. They are not as social as the gray wolf, often hunting solo, but they do form small hierarchical packs that are often connected by blood. Members of the pack help in the raising of pups, and mates tend to bond for life.
Red wolves also pursue smaller food items than their gray wolf cousins. Their menu consists of both plant material such as berries, and animal material, including insects, rabbits, muskrat and small deer.
The red wolf once lived in a wide expanse of the Southeast, from Pennsylvania to Florida and from southern Missouri to Texas. As of 2015, they live in protected areas of North Carolina. The United States government declared the species extinct in the wild in 1980, at which time there were only a few individual wolves living in captivity. Thanks to conservation efforts and captive breeding, red wolves are making a slow comeback.