Five furry European Grey Wolf pups made their debut last week at Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park. Born on May 25 to mum Elara and dad Puika, the still-shy six-week-old pups are starting to explore their forested habitat, aptly named Wolf Wood. It’s been 12 years since Wolves were born at the park.
The pups’ genders are not yet known, but park officials have already decided to name one of the pups “Forty,” in honor of the park’s 40th anniversary.
“The pups, especially one particularly bold individual, are now beginning to wander around the large wooded enclosure, which does seem to cause their mother some anxiety,” said Douglas Richardson, Animal Collection Manager. “The Park is visited by quite a number of people with a special interest in Wolves and it is hoped that this latest breeding success will generate further interest in this much-maligned species, especially as it is an animal that formerly roamed over most of the country.”
Wolves were once common throughout Europe, but in the 1800s, they were eliminated in most of central and northern Europe. Since then, Wolves have been reestablished in some parts of the region, despite threats from overhunting and poaching. Today, the largest wild European Grey Wolf populations are in the eastern European countries of Poland and Romania, and in the Balkans.