Wolves generally live in packs. A typical wolf pack would include a leader male and female wolf (alpha wolves), their pups, and possibly several other non-breeding adult wolves. Packs can vary from 25 square miles to 500 square miles, depending on the availability of prey. Within a pack, only one pair of wolves mate. This pair is known as the "alpha pair." The female wolf only goes into heat once a year in January or February. If she becomes pregnant, she will have, on average, about 6 pups in late April or early May. The female digs a wolf den in soft soil where it is warm underground. Here, she can keep the pups away from the rest of the pack. Unlike most mammals, the male wolf helps raise the pups as well. After about one month, the pups are ready to go out of the den and move from mother's milk to meat that is regurgitated by the parents. After one year, the pups have grown into adults.
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