The WNC Nature Center's resident female red wolf, Mayo, gave birth to four pups, two males and two females, May 9. One of the female pups is seen here. The pups are part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Program, and will remain out of public view for at least six months. / WNC Nature Center/Special to the Citizen-Times
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Four rare red wolf pups have been born at a refuge in western North Carolina.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported the pups were born at the Western North Carolina Nature Center.
Center director Chris Gentile says the births last month increase the number of red wolves at the center to seven.
Officials think there are fewer than 400 red wolves left in the world.
The center's 3-year-old female Mayo gave birth on May 9. The father, Phoenix, was brought in from a nature center in Albany, Ga. Officials say the two male and two female pups are part of a larger than usual litter for a first time mother.
Gentile says the new pups probably will not be named since they may not stay at the Asheville center.