At one time, more than 700,000 wild wolves roamed throughout the United States. The wolf was very important to the Native Americans, who saw in them bits of themselves, such as their will to survive, resourcefulness, hunting abilities and being leaders of a pack. At present, most wolves are found throughout the Canadian wilderness, and Canada boasts the largest wolf population than any other area or country. Wolves were also taken to Yellowstone National Park so that they could breed and thrive in another area, and so far the reintegration process has proved successful.
A wild wolf has a life expectancy of about 8 years if in the wild. A wolf held in captivity may live to be 15 years old or longer. A wolf is a carnivore, or a meat eater, and must hunt down their food. Wolves eat a variety of animals, depending on their location and what they can catch. Deer, moose, elk, caribou and bison are all prey for the wild wolf. Wolves will also prey on domesticated animals such as cows and sheep, if they have the chance. They have even been seen catching fish in areas such as Alaska and Canada. While the wild wolf hunts mostly for survival, they may sometimes do what is known as "surplus killing", where they kill an animal yet leave it without consuming it. This mostly occurs if prey is abundant and the wolf has an easy time catching it, such as in the winter when tracks are left through the snow.
Wolves World Different types of wolves, history
A breeding pair of wild wolves can produce just one litter of pups every spring, since the female can only get pregnant once a year. The average number of wolf pups a female will have is typically between 4 and 6, sometimes less, and sometimes a couple more. It is important to have food for the pups ready on a continuous basis so that they do not die. Distemper and canine parvovirus can also kill off young wolf pups. The wolf pack may have more than one female have pups each year, so the pack always has the potential to grow quite large.