Belgium's wolf pack grows as mother expects cubs

Belgium's wolf pack grows as mother expects cubs
Credit: Belga

Noëlla, the wolf that settled in Limburg, is pregnant for the third time, according to nature organisation Welkom Wolf.

Welkom Wolf was able to capture part of the pack on one of its wildlife cameras.

The last wolf in the video is Noëlla, whose pregnancy is visible as she slips under some barbed wire fencing.

“That wolf Noëlla is pregnant now is no surprise,” said Welkom Wolf.

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“The mating season of wolves in Europe is limited to February. After a gestation period of about 63 days the cubs are born between mid-April and mid-May. Nature has arranged it that way so that the cubs can grow up in the season when there is plenty of prey available.”

Noëlla is expected to give birth in the second half of April, as she has in the last two years.

Number of wolves ‘will always fluctuate’

After the only surviving cubs of 2020’s litter left at the turn of the year, only parents August and Noëlla, together with three surviving cubs of 2021, remain in the Limburg pack.

The other three 2021 cubs have been killed, one within Limburg territory and two others on highways across the border in the Netherlands, Welkom Wolf reports.

“Whoever thought that the number of wolves within the territory would continue to increase, now has proof that it is not like that: the number of wolves will always fluctuate between roughly 5 and 12, depending on the time of year.”

Not everyone will be happy to hear about the future additions to the family: farmers in particular have been pushing back against the endangered species' return, as it has resulted in losses of cattle that affect their livelihood.

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