Appearance: Gray wolves are large canines with a wide variety of colors mixing gray, white, and brown. They are powerful animals designed for chasing large prey with jaws that are very strong with teeth built for cutting through meat and bone.
Behavior: Gray wolves are highly social animals and they develop strong bonds within their pack. Members of the pack communicate with each other using a variety of sounds, body postures, facial expressions, and scent marking.
Range: Gray wolves used to be widespread across North America but were hunted out of their original territory. They have long been feared and hated partly due to their occasional attacks on livestock, but mostly due to misunderstanding predatory animals. Gray wolves have been shot, trapped, and poisoned to the extent that they are no longer found in most of their natural range. Federal and state eradication led to the almost complete extinction of gray wolves, but according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, they have made a successful recovery due to conservation efforts. They now have stable populations in the Rocky Mountains, Western Great Lakes, and areas of the South West.
Diet: They feed on a variety of different prey including elk, moose, deer, rodents, and rabbits. They possess excellent senses of sight, smell, and hearing. Their sense of smell is about 100 times better than ours allowing them to detect prey from miles away.
Nova & Wayah
Date of Birth: April 16, 2014
Nova (top) and Wayah (bottom) were born in a wildlife facility in Montana and came to the WNC Nature Center in June 2014.