VIDEO: Yellowstone Wolf Pack Plays Tug-of-War With Traffic Cone
May 09, 2022
While wolves and dogs have become somewhat genetically distinct over the millennia, they're still startlingly similar, even in behavior - which means that wolves will play with each other in ways very similar to dog behavior.
Just look at this video filmed on March 29, 2020 in Yellowstone National Park. It shows a small wolf pack that had been feeding on a bison carcass begin to frolic and play with an orange traffic cone they pilfered from the road.
In the words of the person filming, "Some of the members of the Wapati Wolf Pack were feeding on a bison carcass. They had taken one of the traffic cones several days prior from the road. I though the wolves were leaving the area. Instead, they grabbed the cone and started playing with it. The end of the video shows the pups playing on a snowbank."
Indeed, much of wolf play involves the kind of "tug-of-war" or "takeaway" games seen here, with several wolves grabbing something and trying to keep it away from the others. In fact, play is an important part of any wolf pack's socialization, and in particular, of the development of cub's cognitive skills.