The Voyageurs Wolf Project captured incredible footage of six wolf pups from the Wiyapka Lake pack playing along a faint dirt road.
The Minnesota-based group has been studying — and following — the wolf population in the region and notes the odds are against the playful pups.
“All 6 pups are still alive and appear to be doing well…but the road to survival is long!” the organization noted.
Sadly, they have good reason to be pessimistic.
“Last year, Wiyapka Lake had 6 pups that all survived until August,” the group shared by way of a cautionary tale. “After that, the pups started to die one by one. By November, all 6 pups had died. So the fact that all 6 are still alive might not be a great indicator of how many are going to survive.”
We recently got the first footage of the Wiyapka Lake Pack pups out and about! All 6 pups are still alive and appear to be doing well…but the road to survival is long! (1/4) pic.twitter.com/YeWvehrpEA— Voyageurs Wolf Project (@VoyaWolfProject) July 21, 2021
Nature isn’t easy.
“We don’t say this to be depressing or morbid but rather to highlight the general pattern of wolf pup survival,” Voyageurs explained. “Typically, survival is pretty high through mid-summer.”
Beginning in the late summer through fall is when most pups die, it added.
One of the pups in the video does appear to have a hind leg limp.
Still, it doesn’t mean their future is entirely hopeless.
“Who knows what this year holds!?” the wolf project continued. “Maybe this litter will fare better than the previous year or maybe it will have the same fate.”
Meanwhile, they are living life to the fullest — and it’s a joy for us to see.