All About Wolves


Wolf Painting by: Laura Lee

Spirit of the Wolf:
As the wolf is pushed to the brink of extinction
She looks back on those who have pushed her there
There is no malice in her eyes
Just a kind of grim understanding
For she knows that, it is not her that is lost
But the tame humans
Who have lost their true spirit
The wild calls to her, and she follows
She follows, knowing where her path will lead her
But she follows none the less
For she can no more ignore her spirits
Than she could not be a wolf
And she knows that when she is gone from this world
Her legacy will forever live on
For even if her species is forever gone
The true spirit of a wolf can never die
by:Cheyne Highwind, 1999

The Gray Wolf - Canis lupus:
Primarily located in northern latitudes around the world. Five subspecies of the gray wolf are in North America and seven to twelve in Eurasia.
* Arctic Wolf - Canis lupus arctos
* Mexican or Lobo Wolf - Canis lupus baileyi
* Buffalo or Great Plains Wolf - Canis lupus nubilus
* Eastern Timber Wolf - Canis lupus lycaon.
* Mackenzie Valley or Rocky Mountain Wolf - Canis lupus occidentalis

The Red Wolf -Canis rufus:
found in the southeastern United States.

The Abyssinian Wolf
Canis simensis:
Newly discovered, this wolf exists on the highlands of Ethiopia. It is suspected by some Zoologists that these are actually Jackals.

Wolves live in packs, which consist of the adult alpha pair (parents), and their offspring going back two or three years. The alpha parents are normally not related. It is not uncommon for other males outside of the related pack to join the pack. A pack usually has from six to eight wolves, however, in Northwestern Canada & Alaska some packs are as large as thirty wolves or more. The alpha female normally has only one litter of pups every spring, however, in areas of dense prey, more than one female will give birth in each pack. An average litter size is six, although several may die if prey is not readily available.

FOOD SOURCE: (Moose, Bison, Deer, Elk, Sheep, Caribou, Mountain Goats, Oxen and other large hoofed animals including smaller mammals & occasionally birds. The large molars and powerful jaws of a wolf are used to crush the bones of its prey. The biting capacity of a wolf is 1,500 pounds of pressure per square inch. They are able to bite through a very large bone with 6 to 8 bites.

Adult females in northern states weigh 50 to 85 pounds - adult males 70 to 110 pounds. Wolves are larger in the northwestern United States, Alaska, and Canada. Adult males on the average weigh 85 to 115 pounds and can reach as high as 130 pounds. Females average 10 to 15 pounds lighter than males.

Wolves can get by on about 2 1/2 pounds of food per day, however, they require about 5 pounds per day to reproduce a healthy litter. The most a wolf can eat in one sitting is about 23 pounds. Wolves kill around 15 to 20 adult deer per year each.


A wolf's life expectancy in the wild is six to eight years, although they have been known to live up to 13 years. Wolves have an average life span of 16 years in captivity. The natural causes of death for wolves are usually starvation, (which primarily kills pups), death from other wolves from territorial fights and on occasion diseases such as canine parvo virus & mange. In Alaska and Canada, a pack of wolves' territory ranges anywhere from 200 to 1,000 square miles, therefore, contagious disease is less likely. Humans are another cause of many wolf fatalities.

They can run at speeds of 25 to 35 miles per hour for short periods while chasing prey. Wolves will travel for long distances by trotting at approximately 5 miles per hour. Wolves will travel 10 to 30 miles each day in search of food. Some wolves break away from their pack in search of mates and to claim their own territory. Their journeys have been known to go as far as 550 miles.