Wolf pups are quite small when they’re born and their size, coupled with a lack of defense skills at that young age, means they’re quite vulnerable to other predators. Luckily for these wolf pups, mom and dad were able to save the day when a bear got a little too close!

Note: All 4 pups are healthy and well.

"We got this crazy footage in early May 2020! The Paradise Pack pups are fortunate that their parents were nearby to fend off this bear. The pack only consists of a breeding pair (Wolves V077 and V085) and we know from GPS-locations that the pair are, at times, away from the den getting food at the same time meaning the pups are left alone. If the bear had visited when both wolves were away, the bear could easily have killed all 4 pups! The pack continued to use this den for 2 more days before moving their pups a short ways to another den." Voyageurs Wolf Project

The Voyageurs Wolf Project, which is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park, was started to address one of the biggest knowledge gaps in wolf ecology—what do wolves do during the summer?

Their goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the summer ecology of wolves in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem in northern Minnesota. Specifically, they want to understand the predation behavior and reproductive ecology (e.g., number of pups born, where wolves have dens, etc) of wolves during the summer.

The GPS-collars reveal the locations of den and rendezvous sites, which is where pups are kept during the summer. By gathering detailed information on both the predation behavior and reproductive ecology of wolves, they are able to connect critical facets of wolf behavior during the summer to important ecological factors, prey populations, and human interactions.

Given initial results of our research—which was described as “a breakthrough" by international wolf experts—we have an unparalleled opportunity to provide critical information for the successful conservation and management of wolves, their prey, and the southern boreal ecosystem. This work benefits not only Minnesota’s iconic Northwoods, but boreal systems around the globe from North America to Asia.

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