Wolves are canines with long bushy tails that are often black-tipped. Coat color is typically a mix of gray and brown with buffy facial markings and undersides, but the color can vary from solid white to brown or black. Wolves vary in size depending on where they live. Wolves in the north are usually larger than those in the south. The average size of a wolf's body is 3-5 feet long. Their tails are usually 1-2 feet long. Females typically weigh 60-100 pounds, and males weigh 70-145 pounds.
Habitat & Diet
Wolves can thrive in a diversity of habitats from the tundra to woodlands, forests, grasslands and deserts. Their territories can range from 50 square miles to over a 1,000. Wolves travel as far as they need to in order to find prey. They often travel at five miles per hour but can reach speeds of 40 miles per hour.
Wolves are carnivores--they prefer to eat large hoofed mammals such as deer, elk, bison and moose. They also hunt smaller mammals such as beavers, rodents and hares. Adults can eat 20 pounds of meat in a single meal.
Wolves have a rigid structure called a pack. The pack is led by an Alpha male and female. Alphas are generally the only ones allowed to breed in a pack. Wolves typically mate for life.
Meet our Residents
- Gray, or timber wolves, look somewhat like a large German Shepherd.
- They have the third strongest jaw of any land mammal. (1,500 lbs. per square inch).
- A playful wolf dances and bows.
Status In The Wild
The gray, or timber wolf's story, is one of the most compelling tales of American wildlife. Once, the wolf was widespread across most of North America, but it was hunted ruthlessly and completely removed over most of its range. Today, the wolf is making a successful comeback in some of its former habitat due to strong conservation efforts. The gray wolf plays a vital role in the health and proper functioning of ecosystems.