I wish I had better news to report, but alas, no wolf pups. There are things we know, things we assume, things we don’t know, and lots of opinions. The short story is there are no pups and the chance of pups is very low to nil at this point. No need to read on if you don’t want or need more information.
We know that just over 3 weeks ago, on Tuesday April 5, #1287, the female wolf, started losing hair from her belly. This fact, along with behavior changes (i.e. digging more and burying food) and confirmation by security guards that mating had been seen between the wolves, led us to believe and hope 1287 was pregnant. The timing of all this matched perfectly when 1287 started cycling and exhibiting the desire to mate (this occurred the end of January/beginning of February and there is a 63 gestation period for red wolves).
Wednesday April 13, we thought the female might be delivering pups: her behavior was very antsy and she spent a lot of time in the den. However, still no pups. There were no signs and there are no signs that the wolf had or has given birth.
As discussed/reported from the very beginning of the entire hubbub, the wolf could be exhibiting a pseudo pregnancy. This is a false pregnancy, where hormonally the wolf goes through all the changes she would under real pregnancy conditions. The act of mating itself can cause a pseudo pregnancy, as can regular seasonal changes. It is my opinion that pseudo pregnancy is what was/is going on.
It’s unlikely, but we still could come upon pups, and we’ll watch closely until mid/end May (May 25 is the latest date red wolves have been born). However, we have now shifted our focus from pups to possible health issues and complications from pseudo pregnancy or other pregnancy but no delivery “issues”. As long as the female behaves and looks as she usually does we will watch and wait. If we need to catch her up and do further assessments, we will. (i.e. if scooting persist as mentioned above, of discharge is noted on her body/bottom…)
It’s very disapointing, that’s for sure.