Despite an aggressive lobbying effort by some North Carolina officials—an effort confirmed by a legislative source a few weeks ago—the roughly forty red wolves living in the eastern part of the state will live on.

Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this afternoon that the federal government would not be abandoning the Red Wolf Recovery Program, a decades-old effort to save an animal that was on the brink of extinction when it was officially listed as an endangered species in 1967—a decision that is being celebrated by advocates.

“Our reality is, red wolves in the wild will require intensive, hands-on management,” says Cindy Doher, the USFWS’s southeast regional director. “We are committed to red wolf recovery. I am committed to red wolf recovery.”

According to wolf advocates and a legislative source, officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission had been urging the federal government to do away with the program, because of both the cost and their belief that the wolves were aggressive and unpredictable.

For more information on the announcement, including reaction from the Red Wolf Coalition, check back with us later this afternoon and see Wednesday’s INDY.