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Wolf Dad Grows Grumpy Around Relentless and Adorable Pups

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Published on Jun 9, 2019

Dad. Dad. Daddy. Daddy. Dad. Papa. Papa. Daddy. DADDY!?

This is what fatherhood looks like.

Is Lighthawk being a grumpy dad? Perhaps; raising 7 kiddos is hard work and requires a lot of patience. Beyond his potential irritability, however, Lighthawk was fulfilling his parental obligations by setting some rules for his pups of the year.

Wolves mainly use body language to convey the rules for the family. Wolf families usually consist of the breeding pair (mom and dad) and their offspring of varying ages. Sometimes unrelated wolves will join a family too. To maintain order, wolves will rely on their posture, tail position, facial expression and ear position to articulate their status and role within the family. Wolves will also use body language to communicate intentions or to initiate some fun.

The parents (sometimes referred to as the “alpha” pair) are the leaders of the pack, and they express their status with erect posture and tails carried high. The less dominant family members (usually the offspring in the family) exhibit their position through submissive behavior. With lowered tails and posture, less dominant wolves acknowledge their role and rank in the family hierarchy. Pawing, tail tucking, and muzzle-licking are among the submissive gestures expressed by less dominant wolves.

We hope you enjoyed spending time with these beautiful wolves.

The Wolf Conservation Center is one of more than 50 institutions in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of gray wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Today in the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 131 individuals - an increase from the 114 counted at the end of 2017.

If you want to watch the WCC's critically endangered Mexican gray wolves in live time, visit our live wolf webcams at http://www.nywolf.org/webcams. If you see something cool, let us know!

For more information about wolves and the WCC's participation in wolf recovery, please visit our website at www.nywolf.org and follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nywolforg) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/nywolforg), and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/wolfconserv...)

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