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Can we bring red wolves back from the brink (again)?

Red wolves were declared extinct in the wild in 1980. But in a stunning success for conservationists, a captive breeding program reintroduced the animal less than a decade later. That effort has stalled in recent years. Today, there are fewer than 30 animals left in the wild, all located in an isolated corner of North Carolina. Ultimately, the iconic Southern carnivore’s biggest threat is also its best hope for survival: humans.


  • Dr. Tara Harrison, Assistant Professor at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Sean Hubbard, NC State University’s Canine Conversation Crew
  • Adam Wagner, climate change and environment reporter at the Raleigh News & Observer


Elizabeth Friend grew up in North Carolina listening to public radio in the backseat of the family station wagon. She has been reporting and producing at WUNC since 2016, covering everything from Army history to armadillos. She's also the co-founder of the beloved summer event series Audio Under The Stars. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the outside world with her family, dabbling in esoteric crafts, and cheese.
Jerad Walker is WUNC’s editor of narrative audio and podcasts. He joined the station in 2022 after nearly a decade at Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Anisa Khalifa is an award-winning podcast producer and host at WUNC. She grew up in a public radio household, and fell in love with podcasts shortly before her friends convinced her to start one with them about Korean dramas. Since joining WUNC in 2021, Anisa has produced Me and My Muslim Friends, CREEP, Tested and Dating While Gray, and is the host of WUNC's weekly podcast The Broadside.
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