Reproduction of wolves

The she-wolf is in heat once a year, in the period from the end of January till April, in northern parts later and in southern parts earlier. The heat lasts three weeks and the mating itself takes place in the third week. She is in cub for 63 days and bears the young in a lair that she has dug out earlier.
If not disturbed in their lair, wolves can use it several years successively. The litter normally consists of 4 young who are blind and deaf until they are from 11 to 15 days old and suck until six to eight months of age when they start turning gradually to food brought to them by all other members of the pack.
The place in which wolf-cubs live during growing up and to which full-grown wolves of the pack return every day is called a haunt. During summer wolf-cubs may be moved from one haunt to another a number of times. Until the first winter wolf-cubs reach the size of a full-grown wolf and start travelling with the pack. They are sexually mature at the age of 22 months after which they leave their pack (Mech, 1970; Garms. and Borm, 1981).