Pupdate: April 27, 2019

Good news: it’s the weekend and we’ve got 10 wolves in our habitat. (While high, that’s the number we hope we have each time we post). I mentioned on Monday when the pups were born that there is this fine line of letting the wolves be and making sure the pups are doing okay. The pups seemed okay on day one, even the little one. However making sure the pups’ feet were okay and that they were all gaining weight was critical to know.
the pups, in one big pile in the primary den.
So we did our quick hands-on yesterday morning. We were in and out in less than 17 minutes. We confirmed all six pups (four males and two females) had gained weight– some quite a bit. We put antibiotic ointment on a few pup’s dewclaws, but no foot abrasions at all, so that’s great news. Everyone was vocal, loud, and wiggly—also good news.
#1, M2288 was and still is the largest. He’s at 657 grams. His size and distinctive blaze will help us distinguish him from his brothers.
Pup #3, M2290 is the second largest at 635 grams. Percentage wise, he gained the most from Monday. The blaze on his chest, which should be there for about six weeks, looks different enough from M2288 that we’ll be okay identifying them until we can give the pups microchips.
I’m super excited about Pup #4, M2291. He has no white markings at all– so easy to identify.
Pup #2, M2289 is the smallest by far. He has this really distinctive blaze. He’s gaining weight but not as quickly as his siblings. With this large litter, he’ll likely be much smaller for a very long time. Generally speaking, the large pups stay large, and the small ones stay small.
#6, F 2293 has a blaze that looks most like her brother’s (#2), but it’s easy to tell the males from the females. She’s our 3rd largest pup, right now, at 606 grams.
Finally, Pup #5, F2292 gained 51% since Monday. Her blaze is much different than her sister’s.

We made a laminated photo of all the ID pictures side by side so we can take it in with us for our checks. This should be good for the first 4-6 weeks. Stress level is high (for me and other humans, and I assume the wolves). Each day the pups survive is another hurdle passed. By early Friday afternoon mom, F2062, had moved all six pups out of the den that has the camera. Last year she moved her pups around a few times, but it’s still incredibly nerve-wracking when she does it.
The drained pool in the foreground, the hollowed out log on the left, and then to the right of the pine atop the berm is F2062. See her?
F2062 a top a dug out indentation in the berm near the west side of the habitat. Ranger Robert got this close up photo of her with her pups laying in the sun.

All day Saturday Mom and pups hung in this spot. I’d like her to go back to the den that has the camera, but she gets to take care of her pups as she needs to. So as 9 PM approaches, I am taking deep breaths and repeating to myself “She gets to take care of her pups as she needs to”. “She gets to take care of her pups as she needs to”. “She gets to take care of her pups as she needs to” …

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