Naya the wolf is expecting cubs and could give birth to them in the next few days, Natuur en Bos and the Institute for Nature and Forest Research, INBO, announced on Thursday in a press release. Footage by Natuur en Bos, which is the Flemish nature and forest agency, shows Naya with a very rounded midsection. Accompanied by her mate, August, she will need to look for an isolated place to give birth to her cubs. Since this is her first litter, three to four little ones are expected. Naya will remain close to them while August will take care of finding something for them to eat.
The cubs will remain in the lair for the first few weeks and should start venturing out around summer, keeping close to their home while they learn the rudiments of hunting with their parents, probably around autumn. They should be able to feed themselves by winter.
Cubs usually leave the family when they are somewhere between eight- and 22-months old and go off in search of their own lairs. “They are then able to travel long distances; that’s how the couple Naya and August arrived in North Limburg in the Netherlands from Germany,” Natuur en Bos explained. “The fear of overpopulation of wolves is thus unfounded. In territory there is the only place for a couple and its young.”
The imminent birth of their cubs makes wolves more careful and fiercer than usual. However, “there is no reason for to be afraid,” Natuur en Bos said. “The animals will be even more discreet than before and will only be aggressive if disturbed.”
Naya and August were the first wolves to tread on Belgian soil. Their presence had been suspected after many sheep were found dead in Limburg.