My gut told me that it was too good to be true. I was convinced on Monday that we had seen a red wolf. I have seen coyotes, and they tend to look a little slinky, like they have done something wrong and they are trying to slink away:
The animal we saw was not slinking. It was standing proud, head up, like it dared us to come mess with it. That's what a wolf should look like.
I wanted to report my finding to the Wildlife commission. I have yet to talk to a person who studies the wolves but I'll keep trying. In the meantime, I found a lot of info about Red Wolves.
There is an on-going Red Wolf Recovery Project, sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Apparently the population of wild wolves dwindled in the 80's to 17. Some very wise people captured those wolves and bred them in captivity, with the goal of re-introducing them to the wild. The Red Wolf, before we greedily decimated their population, were the top predator in the Appalachians. Now, there are none. The only known (key word) population is in NE North Carolina, where little more than 150 wolves have been release into the wild and appear to be doing well.
So, while I was initially disappointed that we had not, in all probability, seen a Red Wolf, I then realised that we did get to see a coyote. Another animal that is not easy to spot in the Appalachians.
Let's take care of our resources people!!!
Have a great day.