This post gives the documentation by a camera-trap of two different litters (10 pups altogether), two breeding females of the same wolf pack, the founding male and two pup-sitters in Naliboki Forest. The last feature is particularly essential. One or two pup-sitters were present at pups on about 60% of the hundreds of photos taken. It looks like we have registered the features of another trend in the wolf denning behavior that we haven’t faced with before the lynx got common. That is when breeding wolves use pup-sitters to save their pups from the lynx aggression (see another post for other details), when they go for hunting.
We knew that in Belarus not only the parents, but other pack members may assist to look after the pups (Sidorovich and Rotenko, 2018). However, for the first time we have faced that pup-sitters spend so much time at the pups. It looks like special non-stop guarding of pups. In the photos you may see that the pup-sitters not only guard pups, but also play a lot with them to make pups strong and smart.
We will not comment each photo. They will tell about the phenomenon themselves.