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Wolves: Myth vs. Fact


Wolves are deadly to humans.

In the last century there have only been 2 fatalities attributed to wolves and one was North America while the other was in Canada. It is well documented that wolves are terrified of humans and will run before encountering them. Like any wild animal it is best not to feed wolves and to keep them at a distance.

We have too many wolves already.


Likely there are fewer than 7,000 gray wolves left. Their very existence faces enormous peril. They have barely come back from being endangered, and are still absent from most areas where they normally habit. Wolves now live in only 10% of their historic range in the continental 48 states.


Wolves are predatory and only kill for sport.

Wolves kill only for survival and food. It is important to remember that wolves often kill animals larger than themselves so they are at great risk of death trying to survive. They often leave parts of the animal behind to come back and feed or for other wildlife to feed on securing their survival as well.

Killing wolves will save livestock and keep cattle safe.

Wolves will only turn to livestock as a food source if their other food sources are not available. In fact fatal wolf attacks on cattle are only responsible for only 0.02% of deaths, with the leading cause being disease. Another fact is that ranchers are often paid by their own state government for loss attributed to wolf attacks.

Wolves howl only at the moon.

Wolves are known to howl constantly whether it is day or night. It is how they communicate with each other.

Wolves can be pets.

Absolutely false. This is why we have a rescue. Wolves cannot live in a home. They are wild animals that cannot be domesticated. Unfortunately there are people that will buy one at exotic animal auctions only to turn them over to a shelter for them to be killed as they are deemed unadoptable.

Wolfdogs kill people.

True wolf content can only be known by a DNA test. Claiming your dog is part wolf is misrepresentation and a large reason wolfdogs are killed automatically at shelters. Husky and German Shepherd crosses are constantly misrepresented as wolfdogs but they are not. Depending on whose graph you study the most dangerous breeds are pit bulls, shepherds, rottweilers, bulldogs, mastiffs, huskies, and presa canarios.

Other wonderful wolf facts:

  • Wolves can live up to 13 years in the wild.
  • Wolves have 42 teeth.
  • They have four toes with claws in an oval shape.
  • They run on their toes, not their pads.
  • Wolves mate for life.
  • A litter of wolves is usually 4 to 6 pups.
  • Pups are born deaf and blind with bright blue eyes.
  • A pack of wolves can range from 2 to over 30 wolves. On average they run in packs between 5 and 8 wolves.
  • Wolves can run at 36 to 38 MPH.
  • Gray wolves can range in color from gray, black, tan, or white.
  • Wolves prey on elk, deer, moose, and other animals.
  • Wolves have over 200 million scent cells.
  • They can hear up to six miles away in the forest.
  • A wolf's jaw has a crushing power of nearly 1500 pounds per square inch!
  • A wolf can eat 20 pounds of meat in one meal.
  • Wolves were the first animals to be placed on the US Endangered Species Act list
  • Wolves do not hibernate and can potentially be seen all year long.