Fun Wolf Facts

  • The Buffalo wolf (Canis lupus nubilus), is also known as the Great Plains wolf, dusky wolf or loafer
  • Between 1883 and 1918, more than 80,00 wolves were killed in Montana for bounty
  • The last known wolf in Yellowstone Park was killed in 1926. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced and, after just ten years, approximately 136 wolves now roam the Park in about 15 different wolf packs
  • Though they almost never attack humans, wolves are considered one of the animal world’s most fearsome natural villains. They do attack domestic animals, and countless wolves have been shot, trapped, and poisoned because of this tendency
  • Currently, there are about 50,000 wolves in Canada; 6,500 in Alaska; and 3,500 in the Lower 48 States
  • Wolves are the largest members of the dog family
  • The average life span in the wild is 6 to 8 years and 12+ years in captivity
  • The average weight is 40 to 175 lbs (18 to 79 kg)
  • Wolves are not particularly fast, with a top speed of only about 45km/h (28mph). They can run short bursts of up to 56km/h (35 mph). By comparison the average human adult has a top speed of 28km/h (16mph) with short bursts of 45 km/h (28mph). Although not particularly fast, wolves instead rely on their hearing and incredible sense of smell to detect prey.  They have remarkable powers of endurance and are known to follow their target all day and night if necessary
  • Wolves run on their toes, which helps them to stop and turn quickly and to prevent their paw pads from wearing down
  • Wolves can swim distances of up to 8 miles (13 kilometers) aided by small webs between their toes
  • Wolves live and hunt in packs of around six to ten animals. They are known to roam large distances, perhaps 12 miles (20 kilometers) in a single day
  • When they get a successful kill, wolves do not eat in moderation. A single wolf can consume 9 kg (20lbs) of meat in one sitting, which is akin to a human eating one hundred hamburgers!
  • The highest ranking wolf will eat first and what cannot be consumed is left for the scavengers, even though they may have to wait another three days for their next meal
  • Immense power is concentrated in a wolf’s jaw. It has a crushing pressure of nearly 1,500 pound per square inch (compared with around 750 for a large dog). The jaws themselves are massive, bearing 42 teeth specialized for stabbing, shearing, and crunching bones. Their jaws also open farther than those of a dog
  • Once a wolf has found a mate, they usually stay together for life
  • Wolves have only one breeding season per year – in the winter. They have their puppies in late April or early May. They have their puppies in an underground hole, or den. There are usually four to six puppies in a litter. The puppies grow up fast and are their adult size by the end of their first winter. They are grown up by the time they are two years old
  • A wolf pup’s eyes are blue at birth. Their eyes turn yellow by the time they are eight months old – Wolf pups are born both deaf and blind and weigh only one pound
  • Wolves feed their young by carrying chewed-up food in their stomachs and throwing up, or “regurgitating”, the food for the pups when they come back to the den
  • Wolves are legendary because of their spine-tingling howl, which they use to communicate. A lone wolf howls to attract the attention of his pack, while communal howls may send territorial messages from one pack to another
  • A wolf which has been driven from the pack or has left of its own accord is called a lone wolf. It avoids contact with packs and rarely howls
  • The Japanese word for wolf means “great god”