Pupdate #3… the good and the sad take-two

My plans for what was to be in this Pupdate are delayed for more pressing news to share…

Friday morning we found four pups. All four pups looked great. The pup with the foot wound still had issues but there was some improvement.

two red wolf pups cuddled

Yes, I said we have four pups.  We know the female was digging yesterday, so we searched the yard to see if we could find the fifth pup in a different den location. We did not. The den camera set up yesterday also records video, so we downloaded the footage to see if we could figure out what occurred. We were able to come up with the following sad story. Pup #1, female, appears to have gotten pinned between the den wall and mom, and was not able to get out.

Why? Why does something like this happen?

Well, it happens. This adult is a first time mother, and accidents like this, do happen, and more with first time mothers. Mothers sit on pups all the time and usually the mother re-positions and the pups move around. We saw footage of this multiple times on the camera. We think it just was horrible luck.

On the plus side, and yes, there are good things to share. This mother is showing other really good signs for a first time mom. She heads out of the den and comes back in when we leave. Returning to the den to care for her pups is great, and we know the pups are gaining LOTS of weight so she is producing great amounts of milk. Other good news about this mom is that she removed the dead pup from the den herself. While hard to hear, mothers will remove and eat dead pups, and that’s what she did. You might say “eeewww”, but this is what happens.  Why this is important is that the den needs to stay clean and smell free. Mom’s lick up feces from their pups as well- this keeps the den clean.

Check out Ranger Greg’s blog post about the family and what a great dad male #1784 is- Greg got some wonderful photos!

This mom, a first time mom, with a VERY large litter, is doing some things great and that’s what I am focusing on going forward.

In general, as the pups age we’re involved less and less- at least that’s the hope. We’ll only be hands on every week or two at the most.  Here’s to hoping that Pupdate #4 only has good news to share…

pile of red wolf pups
May 4th

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