15. November 2022| Wolf protection, Movies, Poland

Growing up wolf pups from the Daleszyce Forests

Summer and autumn of the wolf family from Daleszyce.

Between July and October, we repeatedly recorded a wolf family from the Daleszyckie Forests with photo traps. The family consists of at least 12 individuals – a breeding pair, at least 2 other adults (probably offspring from the previous year), and 8 pups. Despite significant size differences, all of the pups visible in the recordings looked very vital.

The peak of the family’s activity was during the night hours, but the wolves were also active in the morning and evening. Puppies were the most frequently recorded (1 to 8), and the largest recorded group included 10 individuals (8 puppies and 2 adults). The large number, well-fed and energetic pups, indicates that throughout the summer and autumn the adult wolves were effectively hunting, presumably for ungulates that were abundant in the area.

The recordings show the pups playing together, resting, begging for food and the adults returning food. You can also hear from several types of voices with which the wolves communicated among themselves (growling, barking, whimpering and squealing). Attention is drawn to the upright posture, upturned tails and physical superiority during play of some pups.

We also recorded interesting interactions of wolves with other animals. In September, three wolves (one adult and two pups) were walking through a beaver dam at night. Being in the middle of the dam, they were frightened by a beaver with a splash of its tail. The adult wolf went on, to the other side of the beaver spillway, and the two puppies retreated. After controlling their emotions, one of the pups joined the adult wolf, while the other did not make another attempt to cross the dam.

The next recorded interaction took place in early October. At that time, five outgrown, 5-month-old pups spotted a stately male elk walking along the edge of an alder and immediately moved toward it. The predators disappeared from sight for a moment into the dense thickets, and a moment later ran out of them in panic. The moose efficiently chased the whole bunch away and showed the young wolves that he was no playmate for them.

Author: Tomasz Bracik