This picturesque dock overlooks Sewee Bay, part of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established in 1932 to protect migratory birds; it has since expanded its purpose to include other species, such as endangered red wolves and South Carolina’s State Reptile – the loggerhead turtle.
Bulls Island, a nearby barrier island within Cape Romain, played a large role in the successful recovery of the endangered red wolf. The red wolf – which gets its name from the reddish coloring around its head, ears, and legs – was on the brink of extinction in the 1960s due to hunting and loss of habitat by development.
The island’s isolated location made it the perfect place to help restore the red wolf population. In 1978, the first two wolves, named John and Judy, were released on Bulls Island. They gave birth to two more wolves, who were able to learn basic survival skills before being moved to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina.
The Bulls Island breeding program closed in 2005, after 26 red wolves were born and successfully released into the wild. Today, the red wolf population continues to thrive in northeastern North Carolina. It is the only place left in America where these animals exist outside of captivity.