Female wolves will copulate with male wolves during estrus.
Estrus occurs once a year and is anywhere from 5-14 days.
Latitude affects when a receptive period occurs.
It can be as early as January and as late as April.
During copulation the wolves are together for upwards of 30
minutes with ejaculation by the male happening several times.
Once the female is fertilized a gestation period of
63 days begins (www.discoverlife.org/.../Canidae/Canis/lupus/).
The average litter is six pups; when born they are blind
and helpless but by nine weeks old they weaned.
During the first three weeks the other
wolves hunt for the mother and pups. All of the adults
in the pack help care for the litter (Leadership Behavior).
Wolves do not begin mating until two years of
age but can breed to at least 10 years
of age (www.discoverlife.org/.../Canidae/Canis/lupus/).
“Photographer” @ California Academy of Sciences.