Facts About Wolves

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Wolves have always been depicted as cunning and fearsome creatures. The largest members of the dog family, wolves are known for attacking domestic animals and humans. Due to their predatory nature, wolves have been hunted down to the point of extinction. Gray wolves are the most common species in the Northern Hemisphere.

Fact 1. In the 1980s, red wolves became an endangered species in the southeastern parts of the United States.   Through breeding programs with captive red wolves, the animal has been reintroduced into the wild. There are about 100 red wolves surviving in the world today.

Fact 2.   Wolves are, by nature, pack animals of around 6 to 10. They roam large distances of about 20 kilometers a day.

Fact 3.    Wolves are endowed with huge appetites. A single wolf is capable of consuming 9 kilograms of meat at a meal. They consume smaller mammals, birds, fish, snakes, and fruits.

Fact 4.  Wolf packs are established according to a strict hierarchy with a dominant male at the top followed by its mate. The top couple are the only ones allowed to breed.

Fact 5.  Wolves originate from the mammalian family called Canidae. The other members of this family include dogs, foxes, and coyotes. Wolves are considered highly intelligent animals with upright ears, sharp, pointed muzzles, and sharp eyes.

Fact 6. Contrary to popular thinking, dogs did not descend from the wolf lineage albeit they belong to the same family.

Fact 7. The endangered Indian grey wolf, or Canis lupus pallipes, is one of the major predators in the Indian ecosystem.

Fact 8.  The common reason for wolves being on the endangered list is due to being hunted for bounties. Between 1850 and 1900, a million wolves were killed, and in 1907 this was exacerbated by the calls for the total extinction of wolves.

Fact 9. Wolves have been stigmatized as werewolves during the Middle Ages in northern Europe akin to the vampires of Eastern Europe.  European settlers took this concept, used by the Catholic Church to maintain secular control of the people, eventually to America.

Fact 10. In contrast, the indigenous people of North America both admired and emulated the wolf. The Native Americans respected the wolf’s hunting abilities and honored it.

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