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Posted at 10:14 AM ET, 02/01/2012

Four rare wolf pups born at Smithsonian Institute

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, even for the Smithsonian’s adorable newborn wolf pups.

“The mom tends to move the pups a lot, which can hurt them, and sometimes they do end up eating the pups,” a research biologist told the Smithsonian’s “Around the Mall” blog.


The four maned wolf pups were born Jan. 5 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. (Lisa Ware - Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)
Maned wolf pups have a 50 percent chance of surviving their first month, the Smithsonian reports. Researchers have kept a close eye on the pups since their birth in January.


More than 70 maned wolves have been born at the Front Royal institute since 1975. (Lisa Ware - Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)

The Front Royal, Va.-based Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute has tried to breed this threatened species of wolf in captivity since 1975. In their natural habitat, central South America, about 20,000 of their kind are left.

The four newborn pups bring the Smithsonian’s total number of maned wolves to 12. Two wolves live at the National Zoo’s “Cheetah Conservation Station.”

You can see more photos of the fuzzballs on the National Zoo’s Flickr stream.

Check out more animal photos from The Washington Post:

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By Sylvia Carignan  |  10:14 AM ET, 02/01/2012

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