A rare wolf named for Sec. Jewell and Stephen Colbert


Rare red wolf pups Jewell and Colbert cuddle. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

In December, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited a South Carolina national refuge, which has experienced a measurable rise in sea level, to discuss climate change and federal funding for land conservation. The people there were so happy to have her visit that five months later they found a special way to thank her.

A rare red wolf pup born at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge several weeks ago has been named Jewell.

“After she came to Cape Romain last year, and spoke to us, we are all pretty much in agreement that she is our favorite Secretary of Interior,” a project leader at the refuge wrote in an e-mail to the Interior Department press secretary. The Washington Post covered her visit there as part of a profile of Jewell, noting she was “self-deprecating, amusing and blunt as she spoke off-the-cuff and answered questions from her sympathetic audience.”

Two of the surviving four pups born April 8 will remain at the refuge, including Jewell. Two others will be sent to live at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. The one staying to grow up with sister Jewell is named Colbert, after none other than television host and satirist Stephen Colbert, a South Carolina native.

“Well we like him, he is a Lowcountry person, and we thought that was a good name for our wolf,” said Raye Nilius, a Fish and Wildlife Service project leader at the refuge.

Colbert does not take over for David Letterman as the “Late Show” host until sometime in 2015. Which leaves plenty of time for Colbert to have Jewell on his Comedy Central show that should, we think, include a visit to their namesakes.

Colby Itkowitz is a national reporter for In The Loop.
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