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European wolf pups born at Wingham Wildlife Park near Canterbury

A Kent visitor attraction is celebrating the arrival of its first European wolf pups.

Wingham Wildlife Park near Canterbury confirmed mum Dakota has given birth to a healthy litter of four.

Staff were worried how the first-time mum would cope with having the pups.

The attraction's newest resident. Pictures: Wingham Wildlife Park
The attraction's newest resident. Pictures: Wingham Wildlife Park

But park managing director Tony Binskin said: "We are really pleased with how she is doing with the pups.

"When animals have their first ever babies it can always be a bit of a worrying time.

"There are so many variables which can potentially go wrong.”

Dakota had dug herself a den before she gave birth, using a fallen over tree and its root system as a natural barrier.

It has since been inspected from a discrete distance by staff, who confirmed the pups were healthy.

Dakota keeps watch over her first litter
Dakota keeps watch over her first litter

The park says, according to a zoological information management system database, the pups are one of only five litters of European wolf born in the past 12 months worldwide.

The European wolf is a subspecies of the grey wolf, which used to be the world’s most widely distributed mammal.

However, whilst it used to be found throughout most of Europe, this particular subspecies is now already extinct in the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.

The baby wolves are not yet on display as mum is keeping them underground, however, staff say with their eyes being open and considering how they are moving around, it won't be much longer before they can be seen bounding around their own little woodland.

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