Red Wolves

Canis rufus, the red wolf, is the wolf species indigenous to the Southern United States. Once found from Central Texas to the eastern seaboard and up through the Smoky Mountains these beautiful canids according to science  hybridized with coyotes and create a genetic mutt so to speak. Because of this they were the first mammal listed as a federal endangered species and were declared extinct in the wild in 1980. Recent research however suggests the red wolf might have been a fertile hybrid all along and even more interesting is the continued sightings of red wolf-like animals in their former range. I have probably conducted more research into this area than any other and think you will find these photos, writings and videos intriguing. (Chester Moore/Founder: Kingdom Zoo)

If you have mystery canid photos or have any questions about our evidence, click here.

Six years after the red wolf was declared extinct in the wild, this animal was shot in my home county of Orange where the last remaining "pure" specimens were gathered for a captive breeding program.
Six years after the red wolf was declared extinct in the wild, this animal was shot in my home county of Orange where the last remaining “pure” specimens were gathered for a captive breeding program.
A photo captured on one of my game cameras near an abandoned stretch of railroad track in Orange County, TX in 2002. Note the red pellage, long legs and broad head-definitely not a coyote.
A photo taken by game camera in 2003. This shot shows an animal indistinguishable from those found in the federal captive breeding program, at least on the surface. We are not saying these animals are the same as the 14 captured for the breeding program but we are saying they are NOT coyotes. If an animal is not a wolf because it has coyote DNA, then how can a coyote be a coyote if it has wolf DNA? We made plaster casts of the tracks left at this spot and they were nearly five inches long.
My beautiful picture
This animal stood around 27 inches at the shoulder as judged by the tree and bushes beside it. There are lots of animals in the Southeast Texas/Southwest Louisiana region that have this appearance and size. Coyotes are definitely more abundant but specimens like this are not rare.
I wouldn’t rate this as a “high content” wolf but you can definitely see some of the characteristics in this specimen.
mystery wolf 1
The top and bottom photos are stills captured from two separate videos my research partner Terri Werner and in 2012. The photo in the middle is a red wolf from the federal captive breeding program. Not the similarities.

4 thoughts on “Red Wolves

    Mike Hamm said:
    March 14, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Your last 3 red wolf photos in the article above look very much like what we had in middle TN when I lived there. I assumed they were a very large subset of the coyote, but they may well have been a red wolf now that I see your photos. I killed one on my deck going rounds with my dogs. That one had to have weighed 70+ pounds as it was almost as hard to load in my truck as my lab was. I also saw another one within 5 ft of me in the Clarksville, TN area that was quite large. I didn’t shoot this one, but it was probably as large. The area in TN where I shot the first one was Columbia, TN and we would see coyotes regularly. Some were skinny and smallish (not as small as the ones I see here in TX), but others were pretty large. Both the one from my deck and the one in Clarksville, were very large, very well groomed (not scraggly like most coyotes), and quite handsome animals. Anyhow, if you are looking at preserving them in the wild, it might be worth checking out.

    Red wolf-like animals still in Texas? « said:
    May 29, 2014 at 3:35 am

    […] Click here to see photos and video […]

    Crystal said:
    June 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I saw one last year while sitting in the deer stand. Had a beautiful red coat and was a little bigger than a coyote. Another member on our lease saw it too and we both commented on the red coat. Hoping to get some pics on my trail cam this year. Already have pics of a road runner which I didnt think were in this area.

    matthew gregory said:
    February 16, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Saw a large yote looking dog jump up on a round bale of hay. Neighbor said was a wolf. Have pictures of some about 25″ @ shoulder.
    Place is located in lee county. Old Dime Box.

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