Angry alphas – Day 59 of 365

Wolves mate once a year in late February and into early March. Typically it is only the alpha pair that mates within the pack. I have often wondered how that played out, as the temptation to mate among other family members must be strong. In today’s video, an “outsider” male visits Papa Blackie’s pack. As seen in the previous two videos, flirtations start between a young black female and the interloper. They find an unguarded moment and eventually mate. Papa Blackie (the alpha male) appears to not be upset with the interloper, but instead attacks his daughter for her indiscretion. The Alpha female then joins in and attacks her mate Papa Blackie – my humorous anthropomorphic side thinks she is saying, “leave them alone, I’m tired of having pups”. The interloper male finally runs around with an almost boastful and pleased attitude.
In my many years of living with wolves here in the north woods and in the Arctic this sequence is one of the most remarkable moments of wolf behavior I have ever seen or filmed. There are many ways of interpreting what happened here. I do know that it again exhibits the complex and intricate behaviors within a wolf pack that remain mysterious and beyond description.

Jim Brandenburg

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  • Bruce Walker

    “Typically” only alphas mate. There are numerous cases of the beta pair also mating and producing pups.

  • Julie Dahl

    Breeding time again! They should introduce this pack to Isle Royale!

    • Anonymous 1 month ago

      This pack no longer exists. :-(

    • Bruce Walker

      No, Isle Royale is a closed system where biologists can study predator/prey relationships better than anywhere else. Introducing wolves from outside would destroy that.

    • Julie Dahl

      They are doing a public talk now on reintroducing wolves because there are only two left and will die out as the two left are brother/sister and father/daughter. I work there so I know all about the closed system…

  • lael Bradshaw 1 month ago

    thank you

  • Sylvia Kelley

    great to watch the family life

  • Linda A Mallery

    Looks like being a female in the pack is a rough position

  • Sus Baumtrog 1 month ago

    Amazing film! Wow!

  • Diane Arends

    Love viewing your posts…an everyday must do!!

  • Sharon McAuley 1 month ago

    Wow, thanks for letting us in on an incredible sighting, and for writing about what you saw happening. It’s a privilege to learn from you.

  • Carol Deese

    What were you thinking?. No, Jim.

    • Anonymous 1 month ago

      It’s a perfectly normal, natural part of nature. With out it there would be no wolves to observe.

    • Anonymous 1 month ago

      Exactly what I was going to say!! Why would anyone want to watch this? She’s screaming because he’s locked inside her and he’s dragging her around by her vagina. Pleasant.

      • Anonymous 1 month ago

        I was replying to Carol…..this was not pleasant to watch, Jim. She was in horrible pain.

  • Jackie M. 1 month ago

    Yes, typically it is only the alpha pair that mate; but hasn’t it been seen where a beta female mates when the pack is small? After all, wolves know that there’s no wolf in that pack to mate with as everybody is related. To let an interloper in bringing outside “blood”, tells me that’s what we might be seeing.

  • Beth Phillips

    It is fascinating watching the pack dynamics. Thank you for sharing <3

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