Wolf

Five Adorable Arctic Wolf Pups Born at Zoo Brno

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Zoo Brno is home to five incredibly adorable Arctic Wolf pups. A male pup and four females were born just two-months-ago. The siblings can now be seen on-exhibit with their parents.

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4_Zoo Brno Arctic Wolf pupsPhoto Credits: Zoo Brno

The Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos), also known as the Melville Island wolf, is a subspecies of Gray Wolf native to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, from Melville Island to Ellesmere Island.

The Arctic Wolf’s medium-size distinguishes it from the Northwestern Wolf, which is smaller in comparison.

They are carnivorous hunters, and by nature they help to control the populations of other animals in the region like the Musk Ox, Caribou and Arctic Hares.

Unlike other species of Wolf, the Arctic Wolf rarely comes into contact with humans and is not threatened by hunting or persecution. However, industrial development is a threat as an increasing number of mines, roads, and pipelines encroach on its territory and interrupt its food supply.

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First Litter of Wolf Pups for Wingham Wildlife Park

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On May 3rd, Wingham Wildlife Park welcomed their first ever European Wolf pups. Wolves have been part of Wingham Wildlife Park since 2013, when Dakota (the mother of this litter of pups) and her sister Arya arrived at the UK from Parc Animalier de Sainte Croix in France, to be joined later in 2015 by male, Raksha, from Bern Zoo in Switzerland.

The new litter of four pups is a first for Dakota. However, having grown up in a fairly large pack in Sainte Croix, she is used to the mechanics of what should be done and how best to keep the litter healthy and safe, as Tony Binskin, the managing director of WWP explained: “We are really pleased with how she is doing with the pups. When animals have their first ever babies it can always be a bit of a worrying time. Do they know how to socialize them? Will they know how to make their own den? Will they know to use their artificial den if they don’t? There are so many variables which can potentially go wrong!”

Jackie Binskin, Tony’s wife finished by saying, “She really is a great mum though! So far, she has done nothing wrong, and as for how the pups are faring with here… The proof’s in the pudding – they look great.”

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4_20170518_085057Photo Credits: Wingham Wildlife Park

On the morning of May 13, the den, which Dakota had dug herself using a fallen over tree and its root system as a starting point and natural barrier, was inspected from a discrete distance by management staff at Wingham Wildlife Park.

The result of this inspection was a huge relief and surprise for the staff, as Tony explained; “Today was the clearest we have seen the pups so far. Before she had spent most of her time laying down with the pups huddle under her. In that position, we always only saw 3 but had our suspicions that there might be a 4th – after seeing the odd tail or foot hanging out which didn’t quite look right! Today however we saw all 4, clear as day.”

Markus Wilder, the parks curator interjected with; “…And to top it all off they all have their eyes open already and are moving around really well. When Dakota first made her den, it was quite shallow, but we can see now why she has been excavating it more – making it deeper and steeper. Whilst she is doing really well, it’s obviously also a bit of a learning curve for her!”

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Red Wolves Have Keepers Howling With Excitement

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The Museum of Life and Science, at Durham, North Carolina, is howling with excitement!

On April 28 the Museum's 6-year-old Red Wolf gave birth to a litter of three male and three female pups. This is the first litter for the Museum, since 2002. All pups and their mother were found to be in good health by the animal care team and are currently on exhibit in the Museum's Explore the Wild exhibit.

Once a top predator throughout the southeastern United States, and one of only two apex predators native to North Carolina, the Red Wolf (Canis rufus) is classified as “Critically Endangered”, with captive and wild populations totaling less than 300 individuals.

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4_6 Pup group assessment with Sherry Samuels  Museum of Life and Science 2017Photo Credits: Museum of Life and Science

The Red Wolves living at the Museum are a part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Red Wolf Recovery Program as well as the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP), a collaborative breeding and management program developed by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to ensure the sustainability of endangered animal populations.

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Arctic Wolf Pups Born at Knuthenborg Safaripark

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The Arctic Wolf pack, at Knuthenborg Safaripark, grew by seven this spring!

The pups began emerging, a few weeks ago, from their cave at the Wolf Forest exhibit. Now, they are regularly out and about…but never too far from their attentive and protective mom.

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4_13350318_1248138508532471_6987725688581426885_oPhoto Credits: Knuthenborg Safaripark

The Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos), also known as the Melville Island Wolf, is a possible subspecies of Gray Wolf and is native to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It is a medium-sized subspecies, distinguished from the northwestern wolf by its smaller size, its whiter coloration, its narrower braincase, and larger carnassials.

Wolves live, travel and hunt in packs of 7 to 8 animals on average. Packs include the mother and father (called the alphas), their pups and older offspring. The alpha female and male are typically the pack leaders, and they track and hunt prey, choose den sites and establish the pack's territory. Wolves are known to develop strong social bonds within their packs.  

Their breeding season occurs once a year, usually in late January through March. Gestation period lasts for about 63 days, and the pups are born blind and defenseless. Litters average four to seven pups. The pack cares for the young, until they fully mature at about 10 months of age and can hunt on their own. Once grown, young wolves may disperse. Dispersing wolves have been known to travel 50 to 500 miles.

The Arctic Wolf is white throughout the year, even though it often roams forests where there is no snow. During the winter the coat is thick and warm. In spring, the winter coat molts, and during this period the wolf can look rather tatty. Wolves are shy but nevertheless courageous. Packs of wolves often attack Bison or Musk Ox, which weigh more than ten times as much as a wolf. Wolves can travel up to 200 km (124 miles) in a single day – and run at speeds of up to 65 km/h (40 mph).

The Arctic Wolf is classified as “Least Concern”, according to the IUCN, but it does face threats of endangerment. In 1997, there was a decline in the Arctic Wolf population and its prey, Musk Oxen (Ovibos moschatus) and Arctic Hares (Lepus arcticus). This was due to harmful weather conditions, during the summers, for four years.

The Arctic Wolf population also began to decrease as human populations became denser in certain areas. During the 1930s, in east Greenland, the Arctic Wolf was exterminated completely by Danish and Norwegian hunters. In 1979, they began to repopulate the area and successfully established a new population of wolves.

More great pics, below the fold!

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Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Pups at Brookfield Zoo

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The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) is excited to announce the birth of a litter of five Mexican Gray Wolves at Brookfield Zoo on April 25. This is the second litter born to mom, Zana (age 4), and dad, Flint (age 6).

Currently, three of the puppies are in a den, being nurtured by their pack, at the zoo’s Regenstein Wolf Woods habitat. Animal care staff anticipates they will begin to emerge from the den site and be visible to guests in a few weeks.

As part of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program, the remaining two puppies, Blaze (M1471) and Brooke (F1472), were placed in the Arizona-based Elk Horn Pack of wild wolves, which will foster them with their own litter. In pup fostering, very young pups are moved from one litter to another litter of similar age so that the receiving pack raises the pups as their own. The technique, which has proven to be successful in this species, as well as in other wildlife, shows promise to improve the genetic diversity of the wild wolf population.

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4_0016Photo Credits: Images 1-4, 5-8, 10, 11: Chicago Zoological Society / Image 9: Interagency Field Team

Following a neonatal examination, the pups, accompanied by CZS animal care staff, were flown to Arizona on April 30. There, staff met up with a team of biologists from the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team, who successfully placed the pups in a den in which the alpha female had just given birth to her own litter.

Since 2003, the Society has been a partner in this significant recovery program, which is a multi-agency collaboration between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the USDA Forest Service, and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service—Wildlife Services, as well as private organizations. As part of this program, adult and offspring wolves at Brookfield Zoo are potential candidates for release to the wild.

“We are extremely proud to be able to contribute to this important conservation effort for the Mexican Gray Wolf population,” said Bill Zeigler, senior vice president of animal programs for the Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo. “The collaboration with USFWS and the other participating organizations is a real team effort and demonstrates the dedication of all parties to make this a successful program while also raising awareness for this highly endangered and iconic North American species.”

The Chicago Zoological Society plays a pivotal role in the recovery program, demonstrating its commitment to helping the Mexican Gray Wolf population. The first successful fostering of Mexican Gray Wolf pups occurred in the wild and included offspring born to a wolf from Brookfield Zoo, who was the alpha female of the Coronado Pack living in the Gila National Forest in western New Mexico. Sadly, she was found deceased in January 2015, but her legacy lives on with her pups.

The fostering of Blaze and Brooke is only the second time in the history of the program that pups born in professional care were placed with an established wild pack.

“The USFWS is extremely grateful to the Chicago Zoological Society. We value our partnership with the Society and other member institutions of the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan managed breeding program who have contributed so much to the recovery of the species," said Benjamin Tuggle, the Service’s southwest regional director. “Pup fostering is just one of the management tools we can use to improve the genetic health of the wild population.”

In addition to Zana, Flint, and the puppies, the wolf pack at Brookfield Zoo also includes the pair’s four yearlings, born in 2015. The pups born last year will assist their parents in rearing the new additions by regurgitating food for them and engaging them in play, among other behaviors. In addition, the yearlings will learn important parental skills from Zana and Flint for when they have their own litters.

“As the pups grow, zoo guests will have an amazing opportunity to witness the complex social structure of the wolf pack as they interact with each other,” said Joan Daniels, associate curator of mammals.

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Eight Grey Wolf Pups Pop Out of Their Den

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Eight grey wolf pups born on April 30 at Omaha Zoo’s Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari have emerged from their den!

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Wolf Pups (4)Photo Credit: Omaha's Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari  

Seven of the pups have grey coats, and one has a black coat.  All eight were born to Kenai, age six, and Yahzi, age seven.  This is their second litter – the pair produced five pups in 2014.

The pups are still nursing, but are starting to eat an adult carnivore diet with treats that include fish, eggs, bones, and meat.

Grey wolves, of which there are several subspecies, live in remote parts of North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.  They are social animals, living in pairs with their offspring.  Grey wolves hunt in packs in well-established territories. 

There are currently 107 grey wolves in 38 North American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions. In the last 12 months, there have been 10 births, including this litter.  Grey wolves are listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos of the pups below.

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Arctic Wolf Pups Explore Exhibit at Schönbrunn Zoo

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Recently, at Schönbrunn Zoo, in Vienna, five Arctic Wolf pups were seen exploring their exhibit for the first time, with mom, ‘Inja’. The pups were born April 25, in a protective, low-lying burrow in their forest exhibit enclosure. 

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3_pa_wolfswelpen2_animal_detail_801Photo Credits: Norbert Potensky

The curious wolf pups are eager to explore, but zoo visitors will need patience if they want a glimpse of the juveniles.  “The pups are still very timid and only take very short trips from the building. For Inja, it is her fourth litter, and as an experienced mother, she takes very good care of her offspring, said Zoo Director, Dagmar Schratter.

After three months, the pups will be weaned and begin to eat meat. Their current coloring is in stark contrast to the gleaming white fur of adult Arctic Wolves. “The white coat is an adaptation to their many months in their snow and ice-covered native habitat. Even the coat of young animals is every day brighter,” Schratter continued.

The Arctic Wolf is a sub-species of the Grey Wolf and is native to the Arctic regions of North America and Greenland.  Because of the isolation of their native habitat, they are not threatened by hunting or habitat destruction like their southern relatives. However, industrial development (mines, roads and pipeline construction) is gradually encroaching on their native territory, and will most likely interfere with food supplies, in the future. The Arctic Wolf is the only sub-species of wolf that is not classified as threatened.

They are smaller than Grey Wolves and typically grow to a length of 3 to 5.9 feet (including tail) and a max weight of 99 to 154 pounds.  In the wild, the Arctic Wolf survives mainly on muskox, arctic hares and caribou.


Connecticut's Only Zoo Now Home to Critically Endangered Red Wolf Pups!

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Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of four critically endangered Red Wolf pups! Today, just 100 Red Wolves roam their native habitats in eastern North Carolina, and nearly 200 Red Wolves are maintained in captive breeding facilities throughout the United States. Because of this, the birth of four pups – two male and two female - represents a welcome increase in the overall scarce population.

“We couldn’t be happier with how (the babies) are coming along,” stated Gregg Dancho, zoo director. “Both the Red Wolf mother and father are taking well to parenthood and the pups are just starting to venture out into the Wolf den for short periods of time.

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Learn more about these rare pups below the fold...

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Six Pups Boost Endangered Red Wolf Breeding Program

10365946_10152172047108174_8626744923135281762_nThe NEW Zoo & Adventure Park in Wisconsin has some exciting news: six Red Wolf pups were born on May 22! All six pups are tucked away in the den with their mother, Mayo and father, Tasmaska.

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Photo Credit:  NEW Zoo

A quick veterinary exam on May 28 revealed that the litter contains four males and two females. All six pups appear healthy and are exhibiting age-appropriate behaviors.

Mayo left the Western North Carolina Nature Center last fall to be paired with Tamaska under the recommendation of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). The purpose of the SSP is to cooperatively manage populations of threatened and endangered animals in accredited facilities.

Red Wolves are Critically Endangered, with only about 100 remaining in the wild and another 200 in captive breeding programs like those at the NEW Zoo and the Western North Carolina Nature Center. These Wolves one ranged throughout the Southeastern United States.  Today, Red Wolves are confined to a few wildlife refuges on the North Carolina coast. Though they are perilously close to extinction, the number of Red Wolves has increased since the 1970s.

See more photos of the pups below.

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Three Maned Wolves Join the Family at Denver Zoo

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Denver Zoo in Colorado is celebrating the birth of three Maned Wolf pups, born on May 1. The unnamed triplets, two males and one female, were born to mother, Adrianna, and father, Inigo, and are the first of their species to be born at the Zoo since 2009. All three pups were just given a clean bill of health by zoo veterinarians. Though the pups are not yet old enough to explore the outside world on their own yet, Zoo visitors might catch glimpses of them as their protective mother totes them from den to den inside the Wolf Pack Woods exhibit.

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These are the first pups for both Inigo and Adrianna, who both arrived at Denver Zoo in September 2013. Inigo came from Texas’ Abilene Zoo, where he was born in December 2011. Adrianna arrived from Springfield, Missouri’s Dickerson Park Zoo, but was born at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, near Glen Rose, Texas in February 2012. The pair came to Denver Zoo as part of a Species Survival Plan recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match.

Maned Wolves resemble Red Foxes with long legs. Despite their reddish coloring and general appearance they are not related to foxes and despite their name, they are not members of the wolf family. The Maned Wolf is the largest wild dog of South America. Standing about three feet tall at the shoulder, their long legs enable them to see above the tall grass – an adaptation that helps them hunt for food and avoid predators. Unlike wolves, they do not form packs: they are solitary hunters, and guard terriotories with a monogamous mate. 

See and read more after the fold.

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