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Friday Fun Facts About Wolves

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 13: Two young male wolves, two of five that have recently arrived, look out from their enclosure at The Wild Place Project on March 13, 2014 in Bristol, England. A pack of five all male European grey wolves are the latest residents at the recently opened attraction which is an extension of Bristol Zoo Gardens, just off junction 17 of the M5. Originally from Scotland, the wolves and are now living in the new Wolf Wood exhibit; an area of woodland at The Wild Place Project which has been left as natural as possible to replicate their native woodland habitat in Europe. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

While wolves are not really a fun topic in Montana some of the facts about this amazing predator are both fun and interesting. Wolves are hardly the rancher’s friends and the “three S” practice of “shoot, shovel and shut up” is still widely practiced. When the idea of introducing wolves back into Montana and the Yellowstone ecosystem wolf experts asked, “What the hell are you thinking??”

But the environmental community won out and we now have wolves in Montana. So everyone who lives outside Montana who never lost a sheep, calf or family pet to a wolf pack wants to protect them at all costs. But, like it or not, they are with us for the foreseeable future. Here are some fun facts about these amazing predators.

Fun Facts About Wolves

  • Wolves have been around for quite a while. European cave drawing of wolves have been found dating back to 20,000 BC.
  • Wolves make lousy guard dogs. They are naturally afraid of anything unfamiliar to them and will hide and observe rather than bark or attack visitors.
  • Wolf references are common in our English conversations. The “wolf whistle,” or a woman chaser was often referred to as a “wolf.”
  • Society could learn a thing or two from wolves. They usually mate for life and are very devoted parents of their young and maintain strong family ties.
  • Most people under estimate the size of wolves. In the Middle East they only reach about 30 pounds but in Canada, Alaska or the Soviet Union you’d be face to face with a 175-pound killer.
  • Wolves have superior hearing and smell. Wolves can smell another animal more than a mile away and can hear prey six miles away in forestland and up to ten miles away in flat prairie land.
  • Wolves have twice the raw biting power of a dog. Fifteen hundred pound per square inch vs. 750 psi and their jaws containing 42 very sharp teeth also open wider than a dog.
  • Could you eat 100 hamburgers in one sitting? Wolves can eat up to 20 pounds of meat at one time and that would be comparable.
  • Wolf packs vary in size. They can be as small as two or three or as large as 30.
  • Although all wolves can mate usually only the alpha male and female in the pack do because it produces the strongest pups. The other females are often so afraid of the female alpha that they don’t even go into heat. Fewer pups are more easily cared for and protected by the other members of the pack.
  • Wolf eyes can be very scary. While being blue at birth they turn a very frightful yellow hue around eight months old.
  • More than 80,000 wolves were killed for bounty in Montana between 1883 and 1918.
  • Wolves are speedy. They can reach speeds of 40 mph for short periods and can go all day at a 5mph trot.
  • Wolves have small webbing between their toes that aid them in swimming. Wolves can swim 8 miles or more.

Some Final Thoughts

Opinions about wolves run the gambit in Montana and other western states. Farmers and ranchers would not exactly be heartbroken if wolves were totally eradicated but every animal rights group is out to see that never happens.

As the old saying goes, “You made your bed now you have to lie in it.”

Better check and make sure there’s no wolf in your bed first. Should wolves be hunted to extinction in Montana? Should wolf hunts be allowed at all? What’s you opinion of our furry predators?

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