St. Louis Zoo plans habitat for nearly extinct American red wolves

National News

FILE – In this May 20, 2019 file photo, American red wolves Artemis, right, and Oka, left, keep watch over their 5-week-old pups at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Mo. The St. Louis Zoo plans to use land it owns in a rural area of Missouri as habitat for the wolf breed on the verge of extinction, zoo officials said Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Only about 20 American red wolves remain in the wild due mostly to illegal hunting, vehicle strikes and habitat loss. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson File)

O’FALLON, Mo. — The St. Louis Zoo plans to use land it owns in a rural area of Missouri as habitat for a wolf breed on the verge of extinction.

Only about 20 American red wolves remain in the wild due mostly to illegal hunting, vehicle strikes and habitat loss.

Plans announced Monday call for wolves to live and breed on the Sears Lehmann Jr. Wildlife Reserve southwest of St. Louis, which was donated to the zoo in 1993.

About 20 acres will be set aside for 12 mating pairs of wolves that will arrive from other conservation organizations in 2022.

The site will not be open to visitors.

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