Timber (Gray) Wolf
(click above to meet Bear Creek's wolves)
Life span is about 7 years in the wild, 12 to 15 years in captivity.
Also known as the grey wolf, they are the "bad guys" of fable, myth, and folklore. Wolves have been protrayed as vile, demented, immoral beasts. These powerful negative attitudes and
misconceptions about wolves have persisted through time, and couldn't be further from the truth.
Timber wolves, also known as grey wolves, are the largest wild member of the dog family. Males are usually bigger than females. How can you tell the difference between
a wolf, a coyote, and a large dog? Size is the key difference between wolves and coyotes. A coyote is only about half as big as a wolf. Wolves can be distinguished by tracks and various physical
features. A wolf and other wild canids (dogs) usually places its hind foot in the track left by the front foot, whereas a dog's front and hind foot tracks usually do not overlap each other.
Wolves are found all over North America, Alaska and the Arctic. The Canadian wolf population is estimated to be about 33,000. Females can have 5 to 6 pups per llitter
and 2 litters per year depending on the food sources and the number of pups born. They mate in late February and April, and 63 days later the pups are born.
Wolves are easily mistaken for German Shepherd dogs, although the wolf has a larger head, longer feet, heavier paws, and a bushier tail. Their howl can be heard
by the human ear at a distance of 10 miles.
It is very surprsing that humans do not have a good understanding of wolves, considering that the dog originally came from the wolf family. And we all know that
a dog is man's best friend, right?
(click above to meet Bear Creek's Arctic wolves)
Canis Lupis Arctos
The Arctic wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf. Others are the timber wolf of America and the common wolf of Eurasia.
Able to tolerate years of sub-zero temperatures, months of darkness and weeks without food, the arctic wolf lives in one of the few places on earth where it is safe
from the greatest threat of all - MAN.
Wolves will often go days without food, but can then eat up to 10 pounds of meat at a time. Food is so scarce in the Arctic that no part of a wolf's prey is wasted,
including the skin, fur and bones.
Social status within a pack is expressed by a complex "language" of gestures, barks, and growls. High ranking wolves constantly assert their position, making lesser members cringe or
lie on their backs in submission. Despite this behaviour, there is very little friction between members of the pack.
Throughout the fall and winter wolves keep on the move, but after mating in March the pregnant female leaves the pack to find a nursery den. The cubs are born deaf,
blind, and helpless. They are totally dependent on their mother, and she in turn is dependant on her mate to bring her the food she needs. A large wolf can bring down and kill an adult caribou
with a single crushing bite to the neck. Though wolves were once shot on sight at Arctic bases, now only the Inuit hunters kill them. Their furs are sold or are used for parka trim.
(click above to meet Bear Creek's Wolfdogs)
is an incorrect term for wolfdogs!
A hybrid is a cross between two different species. Dogs and wolves are sthe SAME species, therefore the term hybrid should not be applied to them. Dogs and
coyotes are not the same species, so a cross between the two would correctly be called a hybrid although most people refer to them as coydogs.