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Nine-Month-Old Mexican Wolves Use Den as a Playground

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A wolf pup’s first home is usually a den – it’s like a nursery!

Varying in size and design, a den is simply a cave or hole dug under a boulder, among tree roots, between rocks, or in the ground. Dens are often reused by generations of wolves; sometimes wolf families look for new dens every year. Occasionally wolves will use abandoned dens of other animals, such as bear, coyote, or fox dens or even a beaver dam. Although pups might emerge from the den at about 3 weeks old, pups tend to spend most of their time in or around the den for about 2 months.

Mexican gray wolf Trumpet (F1505) with her pups in May 2018

All the enclosures at the Wolf Conservation Center offer at least one man-made den; most of them (like this Mexican gray wolf den) are made from culverts. The culverts offer shelter and allow wolves to stay dry in stormy weather, avoid insects during “buggy” seasons, and sneak away from pesky family members when some “me time” a priority. They also serve as great playgrounds when wolves are feeling frisky!

Although the WCC provides these no-hassle dens for all resident wolves – some expectant moms prefer their personal touch and opt to engineer some really fantastic nurseries on their own!

Tune in to see what the frisky lobos are up to via live webcam!