Friday, 21 August 2015

Celebrity wolves stir controversy with yet more cubs

Italian media report that star-crossed wolves – Slavc and Juliet – have produced another litter of cubs, the third in three years together. Not everyone is happy.

Wednesday 19 August 2015 06.58 BST

Celebrity wolves Slavc and Juliet have produced their third litter in as many years. 

I came across the story of Slavc in 2014. He was born in Slovenia but left in December 2011, crossing the Alps and ending up in Lessinia Natural Regional Park just north of Verona in Italy. Hubert Potočnik and his colleagues at the University of Ljubljana were able to track the wolf’s 2000-km migration in extraordinary detail. By April 2012, it had become clear that Slavc had hooked up with a female, Juliet.

In their first reproductive season together in 2013, Slavc and Juliet produced at least two cubs. Last year, in 2014, footage emerged that they’d added another seven cubs to the pack. This week, I was contacted by Alessandro Brugnoli, wildlife manager of theTrentino Hunters’ Association, with news that Slavc and Juliet have done it again. Here are two nice videos, one amateur, another a bit more professional showing the wolves have birthed a further seven cubs this year.

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