Wolf – Noble Hunter
Wolves belong to the canine family. Their relatives include jackals, coyotes, dingoes, New Guinea singing dogs, wild dogs of Africa, and the domestic dogs.
Wolves are very intelligent animals. They are also quite social, living and hunting in family packs. The dominant male and female are both called alphas. The alpha female has the dominant role in the pack. Wolves communicate with fellow pack–mates and other wolf packs through facial and body postures, scent markings and vocalizations. Packs have 7 to 30 members, depending on how much prey is available.
Wolves feed on a variety of mammals from large hoofed animals such as elk and deer to smaller animals such as beavers and rabbits. Wolves hunt by using their keen senses and group cooperation. Wolves help control the numbers of rodents and deer.
In early spring, females give birth to an average litter of six pups. The young wolves begin hunting when they are eight months old.
There are three species of wolf. The best known is the gray wolf. It lives in North America, Europe, and Asia. The North American gray wolf, also known as the timber wolf, is the largest member of the dog family. It is 1.5 to 1.8 meters from nose to tail and can weigh between 32 and 50 kilograms. Females are slightly smaller than males. Some wolves are all black or all white.
Red wolf has a coat that varies in color from cinnamon to nearly black. It is about the size of a large dog. The animal’s most distinguishing features are its long ears and legs. Now most red wolves live in captivity.
All species of wolf are in danger of dying out. This is because their habitats are being destroyed and people kill these animals.
Wolf is a symbol of freedom, independence, and courage.