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By Tara O’Neill
Photo Peanut, a red wolf, joined the Beardsley Zoo in mid-July.
Contributed Photo / Beardsley Zoo
BRIDGEPORT — Another rare red wolf now calls the Beardsley Zoo home after arriving in mid-July, the zoo announced on Friday.
The wolf, a 3-year-old named Peanut, came from the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, New York. The zoo said the last few weeks were spent making Peanut comfortable in his new home.
The zoo’s on-site veterinarian ruled Peanut to be in “excellent physical condition.” He joins the zoo’s female red wolf, Shy, who has been living at the city’s zoo since 2016.
“Peanut is a beautiful red wolf, and an important ambassador for his critically endangered species,” said Gregg Dancho, the director of Beardsley Zoo.
Peanut and Shy can be seen by visitors between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily from the Wolf Observation Learning Facility Cabin at the zoo.
Peanut was born on May 2, 2015. His transfer to the Beardsley Zoo is part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, the zoo said.
“Welcoming Peanut to the zoo at this time gives us a platform for alerting our guests to the fragile state of red wolves in the wild,” Dancho said.
There are less than 40 red wolves remaining in the wild. This is the second time the species is facing extinction in the wild. The zoo is hoping Peanut and Shy will breed to ensure some long-term sustainability of red wolves in human care.
“It’s a real testament to our zoo’s strong reputation for working to protect endangered species and to educate our guests about them,” Dancho said. “It’s an important part of our mission.”
The zoo brought Peanut in after working with the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan to find a new companion for Shy.
Shy’s former companion, Harper, a 12-year-old red wolf, was euthanized on Feb. 26 after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer. Harper called Beardsley Zoo home for three years.
Like Peanut, Harper came to the Bridgeport zoo from the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. He was born on May 1, 2005.