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Knuthenborg Park Welcomes Five White Arctic Wolf Pups for the Second Year in a Row

  A big event happened at Knuthenborg Safari Park at the end of April, for the second year in a row: five White Arctic Wolf pups were born to the park’s four-year-old female Wolf after a gestation of 63 days. The pups have been found to be healthy and all are thriving. The sex of each pup is still unknown. Head animal keeper Lisbeth Høgh said, “This time we did not know she was pregnant when we never saw any mating.”

They have just begun to emerge from the den but have come out more and for longer periods of time each day to play and nurse. It will be awhile yet before they begin to eat with the rest of the pack. The pups will develop long canine teeth for killing and eating prey.

Photo Credit: Knuthenborg Safari Park

In the wild, Arctic Wolves, also known as Snow or White Wolves are found in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska and the northern parts of Greenland. They are the only subspecies of the Gray Wolf that still can be found across its original range, because they rarely encounter human beings in their harsh, remote habitat. Not much has therefore been learned about their habits. However, this has been of benefit to them, as they are fairly safe from the encroachment of man, whether that takes the form of hunting or habitat destruction. As a result, the Arctic Wolf is also the only subspecies of wolf which is not threatened.

White Canadian Wolf Parents Have a Play Day with Their Five Pups

Whose little feet are those? They belong to one of the new White Canadian Wolf pups born at Berlin Zoo. On April 29, keepers noticed that the four-year-old Ava, who had been pregnant, emerged from the wolf cave looking considerably leaner. It was not long before five pups ventured out to be seen by staff and visitors alike. They sport their puppy coat of brownish spotted fur, but in time will come to have the magnificent white coat of their parents.

The Arctic or White Wolf inhabits the Canadian Arctic and the islands, parts of Alaska and northern parts of Greenland. All wolves in Canada are members of the species Gray Wolf (Canis lupus). Like those in the U.S., Canadian wolves can range from coal black to off-white in color, but most have a creamy white coat. The white hair shafts have more air pockets than those with pigmentation, therefore providing better insulation in a climate that at best is cool in mid-summer but can become absolutely frigid in the dark of their long winter.

Photo Credit: Berlin Zoo

Canadian wolves are usually larger than their counterparts in the United States, an adaptation that came about because the north has much larger prey, like caribou and moose, compared to the US wolves who feed on smaller mammals. Wolf packs tend to be larger in Alaska and Canada - up to 10 or even 20 animals per pack.

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