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American red wolf Gloria

Gloria, the American red wolf, was born April 23, 2019 at the Endangered Wolf Center. Photo courtesy of the center.

The little endangered American red wolf is rare, about nine weeks old, and worthy of celebration. So they named her Gloria.

Gloria is one of a litter of seven pups born on at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka on April 23.

A longtime volunteer suggested they name one of the pups Gloria in honor of the St. Louis Blues’ Stanley Cup victory. The workers and volunteers at the center figure Gloria represents victory herself, not just of the hockey kind, but of the wolf kind as well. American red wolves are the most endangered wolf in the world, and the litter is rare.

For more than 40 years, the center has worked to preserve wolves and introduce them to the wild.

“Just like the Blues, this is a momentous achievement,” said Regina Mossotti, the center's director of animal care and conservation, said in a statement. 

In 1980, red wolves were declared extinct in the wild, and the following year, the center was the first facility to successfully breed them in captivity.

Gloria was part of a litter of five boys and two girls born to father Oka and mother Artemis. 

Gloria and her siblings will stay at the center for more than a year, and then may be sent to other facilities for breeding. The center is limiting their access to humans, though they might be seen in their habitat from a distance during scheduled tours.

Editor's note: an earlier version of this story contained inaccurate information from the sanctuary about the number of wolves in the wild and in breeding programs.