ATLANTA -- The red wolf, a shy animal that preys on white-tailed deer, rodents and other small mammals, inhabited the Southeast for hundreds of thousands of years before being almost wiped out by humans.
Almost extinct two decades ago, it is making a comeback after being reintroduced into the wild, federal officials say. A mother, father and two female puppies were released in November in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the latest phase of a federal effort dating from the 1970s.
"They're doing well; they seem to be maintaining themselves," says Gary Henry, coordinator of the red wolf project for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.