A group of animal rights activists managed on Wednesday to save a rare Egyptian wolf from sale and, with the help of Egypt's environment ministry, to release it back into the wild.
Alexandria Turtle and Wildlife Group released the wolf in Fayoum's Wadi El-Rayan Protectorate, in a story that went viral on social media on Thursday.
It started when the 15-member group spotted an ad on Facebook for a rare Egyptian wolf that had been captured in Fayoum.
"We bought the wolf, aged between 10 to 12 months, for EGP 1,000 and then we contacted the officials at the Wadi Al-Rayan Protectorate in order to release it back into the wild where it belongs," group founder Mai Hamada told Ahram Online.
The Egyptian wolf carried by officials from Wadi El-Rayan protectorate in Fayoum before releasing him (Photo:Mau Hamda)
This is not the first time the Alexandrian animal rights activist and her group have saved wild and endangered animals.
"Three months ago we rescued another Egyptian wolf sold at a pet shop in Alexandria, and I kept it in my house for a week until we arranged with Wadi Al-Rayan Protectorate to release it there," she said.
The group, which was founded in Alexandria four years ago, has also helped in releasing 78 turtles, foxes, wild cats, tortoises and falcons back into the wild.
In media statements on Thursday, Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad praised the efforts of the group in saving the animal from illegal hunting and the wild animal trade.
Fouad added that the wolf was examined to see if it could continue to live in its natural habitat before its release, in accordance with Egypt's 1994 environment law and international agreements related to preserving biodiversity and natural wealth.
Commonly known as the Egyptian jackal, the Egyptian wolf lives in northern and western Africa.
Wadi El-Rayan protectorate is one of the biggest natural protectorates in Egypt.
It is home to a diverse population of rare animals like Egyptian wolves and dorcas gazelles.