BATTLE GROUND, Ind. (WLFI) - Wolf Park welcomed a new litter of pups on April 6, 2012. One of the park's female wolves, Dharma had six puppies: Two girls and four boys.
The wolf pups spent their first week in the den with mom before moving indoors to begin socializing with humans. Two "puppy parents" are currently taking care of the litter all day and all night.
"It's 24/7. We sleep with them, we have to feed them every four hours. And since there's six of them, it takes awhile to feed them so there's really only a few hours between feedings," said Kathryn Lord, Ph.D.
Dr. Lord said the litter is especially cuddly and likes to snuggle with them. She said the socialization process is very important for animals who live in captivity.
"We can go into the enclosure with them and do any kind of daily routine, if they need any kind of medication, if we need to do anything to the pen," she explained.
Dr. Lord said socializing the wolves also allows the staff do work with them on cognitive tests which focus on studying the pups' behavior. Wolf park is a research facility and Dr. Lord said they are already learning a lot about this litter.
"They already have some of their own personality which comes out more and more," she said.
For example, one of the males is very demanding and insists on being fed first.
"He's quite a good eater and probably the noisiest of the bunch," she said.
In fact, just couple days ago the demanding one made his first howl.
The litter will continue under the care of these puppy parents until they get a little older. Then, they'll be out learning to be part of the pack. All while the staff continues to learn about them.
Not one pup in the litter has a name yet. That's because Wolf Park wants your help to name them. You can submit your suggestion to puppynames@wolfpark. org . More information is posted on the Wolf Park website .
The park is asking for a maximum five names per person, then the staff with look at all the names and trim the list down. Then, the public can vote (a donation to the park required to vote) for their favorite names. One of the most popular names so far is "Erich" after Dr. Erich Klinghammer, the founder of Wolf Park, who died last fall.
Wolf Park also offers you the opportunity to sponsor one of the pups. You can find out how through the park's website .
On Saturday, April 21, Wolf Park is holding a "Wolves' Birthday Party" for all the wolves in the park. All wolves are born in the spring, most in April, so this celebration is for all of them. You can enjoy walking tours of the park from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Note: The wolves will be enjoying a special birthday cake at 2:00 p.m.!)
At the birthday party, you'll also have a chance to see the puppies for yourself through a glass window.
Wolf Park is also keeping the public up to date on events at the park and the puppies via its Facebook page .
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