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Octuplets enjoy October

17/10/2017 in Highland Wildlife Park

RZSS Highland Wildlife Park has kicked off Wolf Awareness Week by providing the eight wolf pups born at the Park earlier this year with special October themed enrichment.

The pups have been coming on in leaps and bounds since they were born on 21 May to mother Ruby. The young wolves are all doing very well and are extremely energetic and enjoy playing in their 4,500 square metre enclosure.

Keepers have recently named the new arrivals to the pack, which are five females called Pollidh, Brora, Suie, Meagaidh and Sneachd and three males, Cuillin, Cairn and Torridon – all the names refer to geographical locations in the Highlands.

Douglas Richardson, Head of Living Collections at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, said: “Although bobbing or dooking for apples is not exactly a standard wolf behaviour, because of the pups natural curiosity, they were straight into the water chasing the apples. Although still smaller than their older siblings, the current pups are growing at an impressive rate.  Coupling novel enrichment techniques with talks by the wolves’ keepers, we hope to highlight the intelligence of a species that once roamed the hills around the Wildlife Park this Wolf Awareness Week.”

The wolves at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park are the European form which is found throughout Scandinavia, pockets of Southern and Eastern Europe and Western Russia. The European wolf is one of the subspecies of grey wolf, a species that was once found across all of Europe, most of Asia and all of North America. Previously the world’s most widely distributed mammal – found throughout the northern hemisphere – wolf populations are now much more restricted as a result of hunting and persecution, as well as habitat loss and fragmentation. Wolves once roamed freely in Scotland but were hunted to extinction by the 1740s.

European wolf populations began to recover after the 1950s when they became less heavily persecuted, and by the 1980s small wolf populations began to grow and reoccupy parts of their historic range. 

Throughout Wolf Awareness Week there will be many wolf themed activities, including drop-in sessions, touch tables and keeper talks to let visitors learn more about the species. For more information please visit

 

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