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Durham museum's red wolf family acclimating to new Virginia home

Posted January 15, 2020 1:59 p.m. EST

Courtesy: Museum of Life and Science

— Eight of the 10 red wolves at the Museum of Life and Science moved on to their new home in Virginia this week.

The six pups born at the museum in late April - Bronto, Rocket, Sprout, Lunar, Mist and Carolina - and their parents, Moose and Cary, made the move to the Mill Mountain Zoo on Monday. Brothers Ellerbe and Eno, who turn two in April, remain.

"The trip to Virginia went smoothly and by 7pm the 8 wolves were inside their new habitat at the Mill Mountain Zoo," the museum shared in an extended post on its Facebook page Tuesday.

More space is the main reason why the eight wolves were relocated. Red wolves were once a top predator in the southeastern United States, but are now critically endangered. Only about 270 red wolves remain — about 20 in the wild and another 250 in captivity, according to the museum. The move is based on a recommendation from the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, a cooperative effort that includes the Museum of Life and Science.

As I've written before, more open space at Mill Mountain Zoo, according to the museum, will allow for better management of the wolves' breeding cycles. Ellerbe and Eno also will enjoy the additional space in their habitat at the Museum of Life and Science.

Museum goers shared sweet messages about the wolves in the days and weeks leading up to their move. The museum shared a few on Facebook.

"You have all left paw prints on our hearts," said one, using an emoji for "heart."

"Have a good time at your new home in Virginia! Awooooo!" said another.

Meanwhile, it appears the eight wolves are doing well at the zoo in Roanoke, Va., which has dubbed the family the "Durham pack."