Have you ever wondered what baby wolves are called? Well, if you’ve found your way to our article, chances are that you have and you’re looking for the answer. Look no further, as we have the answer for you. Baby wolves are called ‘pups’.
Similar to how baby dogs are called puppies, wolf babies are known as pups. They are born into a litter to their mothers and only stick around for around two years until they leave their family units and go off into the wild on their own, either to remain a lone wolf or join another pack. Today we will be looking into everything there is to know about wolf pups, and hopefully, answer some burning questions you have about them.
Wolf GestationAn adult female wolf will be pregnant for around 63 days before giving birth to her litter. During this time, the wolf’s life will remain relatively unchanged until she gets right up to the end of her gestation period. The wolf will then reside in the chosen den before giving birth. Sometimes the male wolves will help to make the den more comfortable for the females, and they might even dig the hole for them. Otherwise, this will be left to the female wolf before she gives birth.
Wolf Pup Early LifeWolf pups are born in litters, usually with four to six littermates. The mother will create or find a den before she gives birth. The den is often a cave or a hole dug into the ground, but it has to be large enough for both the mother and all of her pups to keep them safe. The den shelters the young pups from the environment, weather, and any predators that might want to harm them. The pups will remain in the den until they’re strong enough to leave or have grown too large for the space. When the pups are born, they’ll only weigh around one pound. Their eyes are closed too and will remain closed until around two weeks after they’re firstborn. They will leave the den around three weeks after being born once they can walk confidently.
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They’ll soon stop drinking milk from the female wolf and they’ll want solid foods such as meat and livestock. This will be fed to them by adult wolves through their stomachs. The pups will lick the mouths of the adults to make the food come back up from the adult’s stomach and into the pup’s mouth. Once the pups reach six months of age they almost look exactly like adult wolves and will begin hunting with the rest of the pack.
Risks For Wolf PupsUnfortunately, there are a few risks that put wolf pups at risk in the early stages of their lives. For starters, as the pups are left in a dark and often dirty den for the first couple of weeks, and then live in woodlands and shrublands, there are various diseases that the pups can contract. These are often fatal and therefore pose a large risk to wolf pups. Another issue is malnutrition and starvation. This can come from a number of factors, such as the mother abandoning the pups before they’re ready. As a wolf pup needs its mother’s milk for the first couple of weeks, being abandoned can lead to unfortunate consequences. Even if the mother wolf sticks around, she might not get enough milk in to feed all of her pups. Once the pups are more mature, they might then find it difficult to get enough food from their packmates. There are countless possibilities that could negatively affect the wolf pup in regards to their diet and nutrition. Another issue is predators coming and picking on the wolf pups due to their small size. If there are no adult wolves around to protect them, they could be carried off and killed or eaten. These sad facts contribute to the fact that the mortality of wild wolf pups is between 30 and 60 percent.
Wolf Pack MembersWhen pups are young, they will remain with their pack until around two years old. A pack is often a family unit consisting of the mother, father, and other pups from the previous few years. As we mentioned before, pups are born in litters between four and six. As the older pups reach maturity, they’ll start to break away from the family pack and venture off to make their own pack. This cycle repeats until the initial parents die of old age and another pup will take over.
SummaryBaby wolves are called pups, although they used to be called cubs. Wolf pups are born in litters with four to six littermates and grow into their full size within six to twelve months. They’ll reach maturity at around two years of age and leave their first pack to make their own. At this point, they’ll officially no longer be considered wolf pups.
Chad FoxChad Fox is an author and researcher dedicated to bringing reliable information about foxes to the public. He supports animal sanctuary awareness.
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