Nine months ago today red wolf F1563 (a.k.a. Salty) gave birth to a litter of pups. All of them adorable and each a valuable contribution to the recovery of his and her rare and at-risk species. The youngsters gained an enormous fan base from wiggling into homes and hearts of a global audience via webcam. An unlimited number of watchers witnessed the pups squeak out their early howls, romp and play among their older siblings, and develop unique and diverse personalities.
Although the nine-month-olds are looking less like pups everyday, their behavior still reflects they remain pups at heart. The siblings remain frisky, their wrestling matches endless. Playtime includes games of chase, jaw sparring, and varied vocalizations. Pup status in the family hierarchy is also beginning to take shape with youngsters displaying either more dominant or submissive behaviors. So playtime isn’t just about fun, it’s a means to development and strengthens family bonds too.