I really don't know where it started, but I believe that the WOLF is the most beautiful creature on the face of this Earth. The wolf has gotten nothing but a bad rap over the past few years and I have dedicated my free time to research into the preservation of the WOLF. I just find it hard to understand how something can be put on this Earth and then certain people think that it is their duty to try to eliminate it. Wolves should not be caged or killed .It would be a tragedy if the Wolf were to become extinct.

The Wolf

Believed to be an ancestor of the domestic dog, the wolf is a highly intelligent and courageous hunter. Its remarkable powers of endurance are legendary. Although it is not a fast runner, it can maintain a loping run for many miles, running throughout the night if necessary. Wolves belong to the dog family Canidae, which includes the coyote (Canis latrans) and the jackals. Only two species of wolves remain today the gray, or timber, wolf (C. lupus), largest member of the dog family, and the red wolf (C. rufus). Because of human persecution and habitat destruction, the gray wolf, once among the most widespread mammals outside the tropics, is now found in substantial numbers only in a few regions in Europe, Asia, and North America. The pure red wolf is thought to be virtually extinct in the wild as a result of hybridization with migrating coyotes. Both species resemble shepherd dogs, though their heads and muzzles are broader and their tails shorter and bushier. The gray wolf has a coat usually of gray to tawny-buff. It grows up to 32 inches (81 centimeters) high at the shoulder and weighs up to 175 pounds (79 kilograms). The red wolf is smaller about 66 pounds (29 kilograms) and has a cinnamon or tawny coat with gray and black highlights.

Social and Hunting Habits

Wolves generally travel in packs and frequently establish territories ranging from 40 to more than 400 square miles (100 to 1,000 square kilometers). They define their ranges with scent markings and such vocalizations as growls, barks, and their legendary howl. Wolves will eat a wide range of food, including small animals such as mice and squirrels, large animals such as deer and moose, and occasionally carrion and plant material. Attacks on humans are believed to occur only in isolated cases of famine or epidemic among the wolf population. Where domestic animals are available, wolves often prey on them because of their vulnerability; it is this practice that has resulted in the wolf's persecution by poisoning, trapping, and shooting. In regions where typical prey is small, packs may consist of seven or less. Where larger animals are prevalent, packs of up to 30 individuals may occur. In this case the members of the pack cooperate in a grueling contest of wits and endurance, maneuvering in an attempt to make the hunted animal expose its vulnerable flanks. The nucleus of the wolf pack is the breeding pair, and it is believed that wolves mate for life. Only one male and one female in each pack will mate each year. The female gives birth to some four to seven pups, which are cared for by their parents and other pack members, known as helpers. After the pups are trained to hunt and kill, they may choose to leave the pack or remain as helpers themselves.

Wolves in Legend and Literature

For centuries the wolf has been depicted as a symbol of fighting prowess, courage, and endurance. Beowulf, the legendary Anglo-Saxon hero, named himself after the wolf, and North American Indians used the name for their most powerful warriors. There have been numerous stories of wolves that have raised human children from infancy, as in the famous story of Romulus and Remus.

Snow Wolf

Pack in the Snow

Preparing to Hunt

Wolves in Chase

Lone Wolf

Wolf Stands Gaurd

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The Coyote

A relative of the wolf, the coyote is smaller, with a narrower build. It is generally less social and is most often seen alone, probably because it feeds primarily on small animals such as rabbits and mice and so has no need of cooperative hunting groups. Like the wolf, the coyote's basic social unit is the breeding pair. Coyotes are found over much of western North America.
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