COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– A Mexican wolf pup is the newest addition to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. The little guy was born last Friday at 5:10 a.m.
The pup’s parents, Luna and Navarro, are taking care of their newborn. They are second-time parents and Luna is said to be exhibiting strong maternal instincts.
“It’s very squirmy and snuggly with Luna, and has already grown a lot since it was born on Friday, which is a good sign,” said Dina Bredahl, Rocky Mountain Wild animal manager, in a statement. “It’s got a really cute full, round belly and dark fur. Mexican wolves grow up to have sandy, gray fur, but their pups are born with dark fur.”
The newborn joins nearly one-year-old sisters Bluestem, Hope and Shadow and brother Phoenix who were born last May.
“Wolf packs in the wild will stay together as new litters join the pack, so we don’t see any need to separate the older siblings from this new pup,” said Bredahl in a statement. “It’s a win-win for all. The yearlings get to observe Luna with a young pup, which helps them gain experience they can use if they become parents later in life. The single pup benefits because it has a larger pack to learn from and bond with, instead of just its two parents.”
Luna and the new pup can be seen on camera in their underground den, which offers the public a chance to see the pup and newborn behavior with its mother without being in full view of zoo visitors.
Additional Information from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo:
The birth of this pup is significant because there are currently only 131 Mexican wolves in the wild, and only about 300 in human care. Until the 1900s, the Mexican wolf thrived throughout central Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas. But by the 1950s, the species was virtually eradicated, with the last known wild wolf in the U.S. shot in 1970. When the Endangered Species Act went into effect in 1973, it led to the Mexican wolf being declared an endangered subspecies. Their number has since been increasing through captive breeding programs.