Endangered red wolf hit & killed by vehicle along Highway 64

With only a handful of red wolves left in the world, state wildlife officials say a vehicle has claimed the life of yet another.

Citing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Center for Biological Diversity said that a red wolf named Muppet was hit by a vehicle on April 15th on Highway 64. That highway runs through Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

Muppet, who was less than 2 years old, was the fourth red wolf hit by a vehicle in the past 10 months.

The wolf’s father was also killed after it was hit by a vehicle six months earlier on the same stretch of road, according to the state.

Officials say fewer than 20 red wolves remain in the wild which makes them the most endangered on the planet.

“Muppet’s tragic death brings North Carolina’s beleaguered red wolves one step closer to extinction,” said Will Harlen, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The world’s most endangered wolves should not be roadkill, especially when we know that building wildlife crossings could save them from being hit by vehicles. We owe it to Muppet and his family to give red wolves a fighting chance.”

Harlan says that a coalition of 15 national and regional organizations is requesting $10 million in funds from the North Carolina legislature to fund wildlife crossings across the state and along Highway 64.

They say that the bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorized $350 million in federal funds to support these crossings nationally.

You can learn more about Muppet’s family and support wildlife conservation efforts by visiting saveredwolves.org.