Wolves average 3 feet in height
and up to 7 feet in length. They resemble large dogs (most like
German Shepherds) with black or gray fur and a squared muzzle.
They have long legs for reasonable speed and large paws for
traction and walking over snowpack. Quite a bit larger than
coyotes, wolves have been known to kill coyotes. They live in
semi-open areas and migrate to lower elevations in the winter
in search of food. They are not as fast as the speedy cats in
the rockies and depend on skill and cunning to catch their prey.
Wolves are fully capable (in packs) of bringing down large animals
in the Rockies. As with all animals, they will seek out the
young, sick or elderly animals in a herd. A wolfs' hunting
and patrolling area can be as large as 300 square miles.
Attacks against humans by wolves are almost unheard of,
and despite this were hunted almost to extinction across
Canada. Their populations have rebounded and we can be
thankful that wolves and other animals have prevented
Alberta from being overun by mice and other rodents (except
rats as there are no rats in Alberta).
Grey or Timber Wolves are seen through out the
province but populations have been culled by humans. Best places
to see wolves are near Pyramid Lake (Jasper), Maligne Road, Medicine
Lake, Yellowhead Highway (highway 16), and near the Athabasca
are known to have a very complex social structure. They communicate
with each other at a level higher than any other animal on
earth with the possible exception of whales and dolphins.
Communication techniques include scent marking, verbal sounds,
body language signals and many others. These are signs of
You can hear a wolf howl on a clear
night up to 12 miles away. It is a sound universally accepted
as kind of spooky. However this is part of the wolf's communication
net and may also be a pleasurable release for the animal much
like singing is for humans.
They may look like the neighbors
dog but these animals
are true wild!