This Papa Wolf’s Fatherly Affection Will Melt Your Heart

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: October 18, 2023
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This video starts with a look at a tender moment shared between a Mexican gray wolf and his two cubs. He’s laying down on the grass in a relaxed pose while the cubs do what they’re supposed to. They wobble about playfully, against his chin, and then they lay down to interact with one another. Their dad just sits by watching them and eventually lays down, relaxed, knowing his babies are safe.

Watch the Footage Below!

This video is captured at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, New York. This is an important nonprofit organization that focuses on supporting the reinstatement of Mexican gray wolves. They follow through with public education, research, and captive breeding.

The Mexican gray wolf captured in this clip has a name. It’s Lighthawk. He has a mate whose name is Trumpet. The first time he became a father was in 2018. Earlier this year in May, he and his mate had their third litter.

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This is why what the Wolf Conservation Center is doing is so important. You get to see in real-time just how these nearly extinct animals are producing more life. Mexican gray wolves are a subspecies of the gray wolf. They are also known as “El Lobo.” They can run incredibly fast but unfortunately, they couldn’t escape death. It was in the mid-70s when researchers realized their population was almost completely decimated.

Grey wolf with its cubs on the grass

Mexican gray wolves live for about 10 years in the wild and up to 15 years in captivity.

©Armelle LL/

Jamie Rappaport Clark with the Fish and Wildlife Service came to the rescue of these creatures. He started with only 11 Mexican gray wolves. In 1998, he released them into the wild in Arizona. Slowly, their population continues growing, but they are still considered the most endangered of the wolf species.

When they’re out in the wild, it’s believed that Mexican gray wolves only live for about 10 years. However, in captivity, like the ones you see in this video, these wolves can live even longer, for up to 15 years. It’s important to protect them in these captive environments. It’s what allows organizations like the Wolf Conservation Center to continue doing their important work. Plus, you get to witness videos like these, giving you a peek into their lives.

Mexican gray wolf dads are very patient and loving. They’re quite generous with their time. Even though when you think of a predator, you don’t necessarily consider the potential they have for tenderness, this video perfectly elucidates how a family of wolves loves each other, playfully and calmly enjoying each other’s company.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © AB Photographie/

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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