The Voyageurs Wolf Project recently captured footage of six wolf pups romping around together in northern Minnesota.
The six growing pups are part of the Wiyapka Lake Pack, with researchers saying all six pups are still alive and "appear to be doing well."
Here's the video:
Researchers do note that the road to survival is long. Last year, the Wiyapka Lake Pack had six pups that survived until the beginning of August, but then they started dying one by one.
"By November, all six pups had died. So the fact that all six are still alive might not be a great indicator of how many are going to actually make it," researchers wrote on Facebook Wednesday.
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Researches with the Voyageurs Wolf Project said they share this to highlight the "general pattern of wolf pup survival," noting wolf pup survival is "pretty high" through mid-summer, but most pups tend to die in late summer and fall.
"But who knows what this year holds!? Maybe this litter will fare better than the previous year or maybe it will have the same fate," the post said.
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The Voyageurs Wolf Project is a University of Minnesota research project that is studying the behavior of wolves in Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. Researchers focus on what wolves do in the summer, when they're more solitary predators, and are trying to better understand the predation behavior and reproductive ecology of the animals, such as the number of pups that are born and where wolves have dens.
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In the spring, researchers visited wolf dens in the park to count the number of pups. But because they can't always see the number of pups inside, they set up trail cameras to get a better count.
They then spend the summer trying to figure out how many of the pups survive. They plan to share updates on social media as time progresses.
According to the Minnesota DNR's 2020 wolf population survey, there were an estimated 631 wolf packs and 2,696 wolves (but as few as 2,244 or as many as 3,252) in Minnesota in the winter of 2019-2020.