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Wolverine triplets born in the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 17:06 09 June 2015

New arrivals, Sunshine, Liv & Gutt | Photo: Cotswold Wildlife Park

New arrivals, Sunshine, Liv & Gutt | Photo: Cotswold Wildlife Park

Archant

Cotswold Wildlife Park has welcomed three new additions to its family of exotic animals; Wolverine cubs Sunshine, Liv and Gutt.

The cubs spent 9 weeks hidden away in their den, until finally emerging to explore the outside world | Photo: Cotswold Wildlife ParkThe cubs spent 9 weeks hidden away in their den, until finally emerging to explore the outside world | Photo: Cotswold Wildlife Park

Cotswold Wildlife Park made history in 2012 as the first collection in the UK to successfully breed Wolverines (Gulo gulo) in captivity. These new arrivals are parents Sarka and Sharapova’s second litter and are testament to the Park’s European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). Only around eighty Wolverines are believed to exist in captivity worldwide and breeding is notoriously difficult with this species, so the new cubs are encouraging news for future generations.

Keepers were unsure exactly how many cubs had been born until mother Sharapova started bringing the youngsters out of the den. Jamie Craig, Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park and member of the EEP committee for Wolverines, commented: “Once the female enters her den, we are pretty confident that the kits have arrived. She is an excellent mother, only leaving the kits for very brief periods to eat and drink. Once the kits are old enough, she will allow them out to investigate their surroundings but always under her vigilant eye. We were delighted to be the first UK collection to breed this species and in many ways, it is even more rewarding to repeat our success.”

The tiny kits are born blind and covered in white fur with a pungent waxy substance on their pelage. This acts as a great defence against predation while the kits are vulnerable. But once they’ve reached adulthood, they’ve got a different means of defence; Wolverines possess one of the most powerful bites per square inch of any mammal!

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