What if both parents die?

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jaguartail
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What if both parents die?

Post by jaguartail » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:24 am

If both parents in a wolf pack die, which subordinate(s) would rise to lead the pack and raise any remaining pups?

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Re: What if both parents die?

Post by BlackWarrior » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:22 am

Hey there jaguartail.
I will do my best to answer your questions. ^^
So after some research, I found that if the parents or breeding pair both die, than the pack most likely will split up; either in pairs or as loners.
Seen here:

We have learned that it is extremely stressful on a wolf pack when one or both of the dominant wolves die or are killed and the survivors generally disperse. Some as loners,some travel together in sibling pairs or groups.

>> http://www.yellowstone-bearman.com/wolves.html

Sometimes when one of them dies, the pack will split apart. But often times a member of the pack will move up, or a new wolf that was in the area will come in and take the role as the dominant. That’s been seen; that’s happened in Yellowstone a number of times, where a brand new wolf comes in and takes over that role. If both the dominants are killed, I think the pack usually splits apart.

>> http://idahoptv.org/outdoors/shows/wolv ... aughan.cfm


If the pack justsohappened to have pups at that time, I do believe that the pack would split up anyways and the pups would be abandoned.

If only one parent died and another wolf stepped up as the other dominant; if wolves relate to other animal social structures - the pups would possibly be killed.
Depending on the situation, the pups may be nursed by the packs other females.

~ Hope this answered your question!
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Re: What if both parents die?

Post by SolitaryHowl » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:01 am

Usually wolves in a wild wolf pack are all related...so the dominant pair ('Alpha') would be the parents...while the rest of the pack would be their offspring.

If both of the parents died, the pack would usually split up. However, if both parents died and if there were only young puppies in the den...then obviously the puppies would die from either starvation, thirst, or predation.
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Re: What if both parents die?

Post by jaguartail » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:08 pm

but if there were say, two wolves that were staying with the pack until death, and two pups, and both parents were dead, would the two older wolves disperse and abandon the pups, or would they do something to make sure the pups were taken care of?

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Re: What if both parents die?

Post by BlackWarrior » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:18 pm

jaguartail wrote:but if there were say, two wolves that were staying with the pack until death, and two pups, and both parents were dead, would the two older wolves disperse and abandon the pups, or would they do something to make sure the pups were taken care of?


I think in this case, no wolf is "with the pack until death".
The instinct of these two remaining wolves would be to split off and survive for themselves by abandoning the pups.
If one of the wolves left was possibly a female that has recently lost her pups it is still confused on the concept that her pups are dead, she may take on the role of motherhood driven by instinct. But this is very unlikely.

As seen in previous posts, all wolves would split up, and no wolf is dedicated to a pack "for life" in the reality of the wild.
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