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Remarkable One-Eyed Yellowstone Wolf Celebrates 10th Litter of Pups at Age 11

One-Eyed Yellowstone Wolf Celebrates 10th Litter of Pups
Wolf and Pups via Depositphotos

In an extraordinary feat of resilience and survival, Wolf 907F, an alpha female gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park, has given birth to her 10th litter of pups at the remarkable age of 11. This rare achievement sets a potential record for wolves in the park.

Wolf 907F: The Elder Alpha

One-Eyed Yellowstone Wolf Celebrates 10th Litter of Pups
Wolf 907F walking past a trail camera in Yellowstone National Park. (Image credit: Yellowstone Wolf and Cougar Project)

Wolf 907F is the alpha female of the Junction Butte pack in Yellowstone’s Northern Range. Her advanced age and continued reproductive success have made her a notable figure among researchers studying wolf populations.

An Impressive Record of Reproduction

One-Eyed Yellowstone Wolf Celebrates 10th Litter of Pups
Wolf 907F lies in the snow in Yellowstone in 2015. (Image credit: Kira Cassidy/NPS)

Since becoming sexually mature, Wolf 907F has given birth to a litter of pups every year for the past decade. This consistent reproduction is likely a record for wolves in Yellowstone, showcasing her extraordinary vitality.

Challenges of Aging in the Wild

Wolf. Image via Depositphotos.

The average lifespan of gray wolves in the wild is three to four years, making Wolf 907F’s 11 years of life, combined with her ongoing reproductive success, particularly remarkable. Very few wolves reach this age, and even fewer continue to reproduce.

Survival Against the Odds

gray wolf
Gray Wolf (Canis lupus). Image via Depositphotos

Only about 1 in 250 wolves in Yellowstone make it to 11 years old. Wolf 907F is one of the oldest wolves recorded in the park, with her longevity attributed to both her resilience and the support of her pack.

The Role of Experience

Wolf. Image via Depositphotos.

Older wolves like Wolf 907F bring valuable experience to their packs, especially in navigating territorial disputes and hunting. Her knowledge and skills have likely contributed to the success and stability of the Junction Butte pack.

Defending Territory and Leading the Pack

Wolf. Image via Depositphotos.

As the alpha female, Wolf 907F plays a critical role in defending the pack’s territory and leading them in hunts. Despite her age and physical challenges, her leadership remains a cornerstone of the pack’s survival.

Life with One Eye

gray wolf
Portrait of grey wolf in the forest. Image via Depositphotos

Wolf 907F has been living with only one functioning eye since before she turned 4. Researchers do not know the cause, but her impaired vision has not hindered her ability to thrive and lead her pack.

Smaller Litter Size with Age

Arctic wolf. Image via Depositphotos.

This year, Wolf 907F gave birth to a smaller litter of three pups, which is fewer than the average litter size of four to five. A decrease in litter size with age is expected among older wolves.

Raising the Next Generation

wolf pup
Image by Havranka via Depositphotos

Wolf 907F spends much of her time with the pack’s pups, playing a nurturing role as she steps back from active hunting. Her presence provides stability and guidance to the younger wolves in the pack.

Impact of Wolf 907F on Her Pack

wolf pup
Image by Twildlife via Depositphotos

Wolf 907F’s longevity and leadership have likely enhanced the survival chances of the Junction Butte pack. Her experience aids in navigating the complexities of pack dynamics and external threats.

The Perils Faced by Wolf Pups

wolfs hunt in packs
Wolfs hunts in packs. Image via Mariofan13, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite Wolf 907F’s successful reproduction, many of her pups do not survive to adulthood due to the harsh realities of life in the wild. Predation, disease, and competition are constant threats.

The Significance of Elder Wolves

wolf
Image of wolf by Steve via Pexels

Elder wolves like Wolf 907F play a crucial role in their packs by sharing knowledge and experience. Their contributions help maintain pack cohesion and improve survival rates for younger members.

Observations by Researchers

wolf pup
Image by Volodymybur via Depositphotos

Researchers have closely monitored Wolf 907F and have documented her remarkable journey. Her ability to continue reproducing at an advanced age provides valuable insights into wolf behavior and ecology.

Lessons from Wolf 907F’s Life

Gray wolf
Gray wolf in spring. Image viaEric Kilby from Somerville, MA, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wolf 907F’s story is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the importance of experienced individuals in wildlife populations. Her life offers lessons on the dynamics of survival and leadership in the animal kingdom.

Future Prospects for Wolf 907F

Wolf
Wolf. Image via Depositphotos.

While Wolf 907F continues to defy expectations, researchers remain vigilant in observing her health and contributions to the pack. Her ongoing survival and influence will be closely watched in the years to come.

How Old Is Wolf 907F and How Many Litters Has She Had?

Beautiful wolf (canis lupus) in winter, in snowy landscape. Image via Depositphotos.

Wolf 907F is 11 years old and has given birth to 10 litters of pups, making her one of the oldest and most reproductively successful wolves in Yellowstone.

What Challenges Does Wolf 907F Face as an Elder Wolf?

Wolf. Image via Depositphotos.

As an elder wolf, Wolf 907F faces challenges such as physical decline, increased vulnerability to injury, and competition with younger wolves, yet she continues to thrive.

How Has Wolf 907F’s Experience Benefited Her Pack?

wolf
American Grey wolf. Image by Adriaan Greyling on Pexels.

Her extensive experience aids the Junction Butte pack in territorial disputes, hunting strategies, and raising pups, contributing to the overall stability and success of the pack.

What Is Unique About Wolf 907F’s Physical Condition?

Gray wolf suddenly stopped.
Gray wolf suddenly stopped. Image by bazil via Depositphotos

Wolf 907F has only one functioning eye, a condition she has lived with since before the age of 4. Despite this, she has continued to lead and reproduce successfully.

How Do Researchers View Wolf 907F’s Longevity?

Mexican wolf
Shot at the Minnesota Zoo. A critically endangered Mexican Gray Wolf is kept captive for breeding purposes. Image via User:Marumari, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons

Researchers are fascinated by her longevity and reproductive success, viewing her as an exceptional case that provides valuable insights into wolf biology and behavior in the wild.

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