American Red Wolves are rare - so rare, there are only about 260 of their kind still living, making the American Red Wolf species the rarest in the world.

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Knowing that makes this news even more exciting - a pair of American Red wolves are now living here in Colorado.

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According to Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center (CWWC) officials via Facebook, a pair of 10-year-old American red wolves, named Van Gogh and Shawnee, were recently retired from a breeding program to save their species, which is listed as endangered.

Canis rufus
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The pair made it to their new home at the CWWC on Wednesday (Sept. 21).

Coming from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, TX, Van Gogh and Shawnee are both members of the SAFE program (Saving Animals From Extinction) through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

As of July, there were an estimated 19 to 21 red wolves in the wild and 243 living in captivity as part of the Species Survival Plan, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"CWWC has an incredible opportunity to educate the public on this unsung species," CWWC officials said in a recent Facebook post.

"In doing so, it is our hope more people will get involved in our mission to ensure they thrive in the wild by expanding their population in size and range."

About The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center 

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, CO is one of only a few sanctuaries in the United States that has been certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center's mission is to:

  • Educate the public through tours and programs about the importance of Wolves, Coyotes, and Foxes to our eco-system
  • Educate the public about the importance of Preservation and Conservation of the forests, land, and water that supports wildlife, flora, and fauna for future generations to enjoy
  • Provide natural habitats and exceptional lives for the animals entrusted to the center's care since they cannot live in the wild

Using its AZA certification, CWWC actively participates in the organization's Species Survival Program by providing a home to Mexican Grey Wolves and Swift Foxes.

Interested in learning more about the rarest wolf species in the world? Visit For more information about the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, visit 

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