• Range Writing

Common objects found at wolf pup-rearing sites: plastic bottles, tin cans, and leather gloves

Other objects include a portable compact disc player, digital camera, snowmobile mudflap, and a handgun magazine with bullets.

David Ausband of the U.S. Geological Survey, Idaho Fish and Wildlife Research Unit has published a new paper in the journal Animal Behavior and Cognition that details wolf use of manmade objects at pup-rearing sites. These objects are used as chew toys by the pups, and Ausband supposes that adult wolves also gather novel objects to occupy their energetic and hungry pups. Chewing on plastic bottles and tin cans (the most commonly found manmade items), can ease teething pain in the pups. Other novel objects can serve as distractions or toys for the pups, so the adult wolves can leave their young unattended while they hunt, the paper says.

Ausband and eight other wolf project collaborators identified a variety of manmade objects at pup-rearing sites, and included a few observations of wolves carrying objects, including individual wolves transporting a traffic cone, a water jug taken from a biology camp site, and carpet strips from another camp site.

Read the Ausband paper here.

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