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"Because a pack cannot always absorb an entire litter of pups each year due to limited food supplies, some adolescents may be driven from the pack in the winter months. Sometimes the rejected wolf can find another lone wolf of the opposite sex and the two of them can begin a new pack. Though it is rare, these loner wolves are sometimes able to join neighboring packs. More often than not, however, the solitary wolf will die of starvation before spring arrives.

Though seemingly harsh, ostracizing young is sometimes necessary if the pack is to survive on them limited prey in the territory. It is one of the many ways the balance of nature is maintained.

Some wolves that reach sexual maturity of 22 months may leave the pack to establish a new territory, find a mate and begin a new pack."

Copyright Tom and Pat Leeson


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