COMM: Cotswold Wildlife Park is celebrating the birth of a litter of five Eurasian wolf cubs. COMM: The first to be born at the park in its 47-year history. The parents are two-year-old
Ash and three-year-old Ember who are both recent arrivals at the park themselves. They
were brought over from Sweden in October 2016 and have surprised everyone with how quickly
they have bred. COMM: Wolves generally pair for life and so can take a long time to bond, plus females
only come into season once a year, between January and March. Gestation period is around
62 days and litters average four to six cubs, which are born deaf and blind until their
eyes open after 11 to 15 days. COMM: For the first ten days of their lives, these cubs were hidden from sight in an underground
den. But after a heavy downpour of rain, Ember brought her cubs above ground for safety.
The cubs will developed rapidly, and at five weeks old, they will began to wean off their
mother’s milk. The newborns will be named once their sexes have been determined. Wolves
were once the most widely distributed land mammal apart from humans. But centuries of
persecution led them to be extinct in England by the late 17th century and totally removed from 48 European states by the early 20th century. COMM: Now however, population numbers across Europe are starting to recover.