She-wolf Leyla unexpectedly gives birth to several cubs. The pack male Romulus has already been sterilized twice and is no longer the father. But who was it then? The experts are faced with a puzzle.

Unexpected offspring in the wolf pack of the Hanau wildlife park Alte Fasanerie causes joy – and puzzlement. It’s about the unknown father of at least eight puppies that were born in an enclosure in the wildlife park at the end of April. The male in the pack, Romulus, has been sterilized – twice to be on the safe side. He is eliminated as a candidate for fatherhood, as the wildlife park announced on Monday.

She-wolf Leyla and Romulus became parents for the first time two years ago. In order to stop the pack from growing any further, Romulus was sterilized, explained wildlife park biologist Marion Ebel. Surprise last year: New offspring were born again, all but two females of which were sent to other places.

To be on the safe side, Romulus was even sterilized again. The genders of last year’s puppies were determined by several experts. They are all the more surprised about the new wolf offspring.

The mystery remains unsolved for the time being, explained Ebel. It cannot be ruled out that an error was made in determining the gender of the 2023 offspring and that one of the supposed females may be a male. The wolves obviously don’t care about the unclear paternity in their ranks: “They are happy about the offspring in the pack,” said Ebel.

To avoid future surprises, all pack members will be sterilized this year. The new puppies will later be given to other animal parks. There are already some interested parties, said Ebel.