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Carnivores of Kharkov Region Get Ready or Breeding

Carnivorous animals of Kharkov region, these are foxes, raccoon dogs, wolves- are having heat period or "wedding season" which is accompanied with peculiar behaviour. 

During heat season foxes are quite excited, they are yapping and howling, especially singulars individuals who have not found a pair. Thus animals attract attention. One female may be courted by 5-6 males. Fightings are inevitable, the strongest stays with the female. Such is the law of nature. Staying by themselves, pairs play a lot and dance, they reel on their rear legs hugging each other. Also during wedding season the scent-marking reflex is enhanced, foxes vigorously mark their territory. Naturalists noticed that fox's tail smells of violets. It should be noted that mature individuals often make pairs with their previous partners and this can last year in year out. 

 

Wedding season of a raccoon dog starts in the middle of February. While studying the trails left by this animal one should notice that the male follows the female during many days. It is in Autumn that pairs get together but sometimes it happens that several males court one female and that brings out strife. It never comes to real fighting, usually everything ends up with demonstration of force, agressiveness and size. When relations are cleared up, weaker individuals retrieve, the victor male couples with his females in a few days. Raccoon dogs usually stay true to their partners during all their lives. 

As to the the wolves, when wedding period comes, excitement increases in their pack. However, only domineering pair takes part in coupling. Young and singular old wolf females are banished from the group. They are followed by young males who start knock-down-and-drag-out fights which sometimes end in death. As soon as the new pair is formed, it starts looking for a place for the den. The main problem for a newly formed pair is to find the territory for thair family or to take it over.

 

An interesting feature is that Canines are the only family from the order of Carnivores where a male always helps the female to feed and bring up the young. In a wolves' pack all members of the group take part in looking after the new-born pups.