This absolutely adorable video captures a wolf pup as it finds its voice and howls for the first time. The small howls actually sound pretty loud, as the pup is very close to the camera. Other wolves howl in the background, as well. Just before it scampers off-camera, the wolf pup howls one last time. This four-week-old baby wouldn’t be found too far from its den, mother, and littermates. Let’s learn more about these majestic creatures before watching the cute video below!
Why Do Wolves Howl?
Wolves howl for many reasons. Each howl means something different, and each wolf has a distinct voice. Even though many stories and myths would have us believe it, wolves do not howl at the moon. However, most howling occurs at night because that’s when wolves are most active. Howling among wolves is not the only form of animal communication. Many animals talk to one another with different sounds!
Howling is Important to Wolf Pups
Wolf pups listen closely for their mother’s howl to call them back to her. The baby wolves learn the different voices of their family members very early on. It is important for them to be able to tell the difference between them, even miles away. Competing wolf packs fight one another over food or territory. Running toward the wrong howl could prove disastrous for a young, inexperienced pup. Wolves can hear one another up to ten miles away!
Other Reasons for Howling
Howling is one of the most essential parts of wolf communication. Other sounds they make include barks (or huffs), yips, growls, and whines. There are many types of wolves, but they all howl for the same reasons. Some other reasons wolves howl include:
- Time to Hunt: Wolves howl when they rally for a hunt. Because the pack hunts together as one, it is crucial they are all ready to go at the same time.
- To Celebrate: Howling all together as a family celebrates a successful hunt.
- The Lost Wolf: A wolf that becomes separated from the pack will use a specific howl to let them know where they are. The other wolves will howl back using certain calls. This allows the lost wolf to be reunited with the pack. Wolf pups howl to their mother if they become lost, also.
- Protecting Territory: Wolves also howl to announce their claim of an area. Similar to a lion’s roar, the wolf’s howl tells rivals they need to stay away from their territory. More wolves in the chorus make rivals aware that a takeover will be unsuccessful.
- Time to Come Home: Sometimes, wolves separate for a while to explore the territory, look for food, or fend off intruders. The leader of the pack, the alpha male, calls his family home with a howl.
Are Wolves Happy When They Howl?
Sometimes, yes! We already learned some reasons wolves howl, but did you know they also howl to greet one another? This is especially true if they have been separated for a while, such as when the rest of the pack goes to hunt while the alpha female tends to her pups.
Watch and Listen to the Adorable Wolf Pup Howls Below!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/slowmotiongli
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