Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species – Joel Sartore

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photo by Joel Sartore

To keep the red wolf from going extinct, the US Fish and Wildlife Service captured the remaining wild ones in the 1970s and started a captive breeding program. The 14 founding wolves kept their race alive, and now over 100 of these beleaguered southern predators roam free throughout five counties in North Carolina. The trouble is, where do you put a far-roaming predator these days without its getting shot? Many that have been released have died of acute lead poisoning when they came into contact with guns and intolerance.

Joel’s commentary: Among endangered species fanatics, the story of the red wolf is high drama. For this book, my encounter came in the dead of winter at a zoo in Sioux falls, South Dakota. And though they’ve spent all their lives in captivity, the wild is still in their eyes. You get the feeling that their kind could make it again in the wild, if only we would let them.

The above is an excerpt from Joel’s book Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species. To find out more click www.rarethebook.com.