I'll huff and I'll puff and......just look cute!

Mike Oxley

Cornwall Ontario, Canada

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Eastern Timber Wolf Canis Lupus
Parc Omega, Montebello, Quebec, Canada
August 9, 2011

One of the high points of the Bubblemeet! These beauties are in a huge enclosure with a boardwalk going through it so one is often at eye level with them. Such a privilege so see them so close.

When I was looking at various sites for information on these marvellous wolves, I came across this paragraph as an introduction to the facts listed below:

Humans have always feared wolves for years. Who can forget the big bad wolf in the Little Red Riding Hood! Many of us must have hated them at some point after listening to such tales. Today, the Eastern timber wolf has more reasons to worry than humans. These are now an endangered subspecies of the Gray wolf.

Ignorance still abounds. I mentioned to someone how impressed I was at seeing these wolves and was immediately informed about the danger of these vicious creatures and we were all lucky they didn’t pack together and attack us. Okay then. There was no point in saying anything more.

Facts about the Eastern Timber Wolf, with thanks to www.buzzle.com

The Eastern timber wolf is also known as the gray wolf. These have silvery gray-brown backs with light tan on the undersides. The winter season sees these wolves grow a darker fur on the neck areas and the shoulders.

The length of the Eastern timber wolf generally varies from 150 cms to 180 cms. (This length includes the tail.) Their height varies from 65 cms to 85 cms. The male timber wolves are larger than the females. On an average, the Eastern timber wolf can weigh up to 45 kilograms.

The Eastern timber wolf is a social animal and these prefer to live in a family group or pack. A pack of timber wolves can have six to ten animals. This would include the breeding pairs and the pups at times. Here, the dominant pair is always in charge of the entire pack. These are the ones who select the areas to rest and the hunting grounds as well.

The Eastern timber wolves use various ways to communicate with each other. A variety of vocal sounds such as growling, and howling are used to indicate their behavior towards each other. These are also combined with various positions of the body such as flattening of the ears or having a stiff tail to even the hair on the back that can be erect or laid flat. All such patterns are used to communicate in various situations.

Eastern timber wolves do not always make regular use of shelters. Here, the den is constructed for the purpose of giving birth and raising pups. This den is generally used for a period of 2 months. Such dens are located on slopes, ridges and are always found near sources of water.

An Eastern timber wolf’s pack territory can cover 20-120 square miles. This itself shows that wolves require a lot of space.

There are times when neighbouring wolf packs may share a common border. This would mean that various territories might overlap by more than a mile. In such cases a wolf that trespasses in another pack’s territory can face the risk of being killed by that pack. Therefore Eastern timber wolves use their urine to mark their territory. The manner any wolf howls is also a way to announce its territory to the other packs and is also a way to bring those wolves together who may have been lost from the pack.

The diet habits of the Eastern timber wolf include the deer and the elk and smaller animals such as the beavers or the rabbits. The prey for the Eastern timber wolf also depends upon the seasons. The summertime sees them hunting for beavers and the winter season sees them hunting down White-tailed deer and the Caribou.

And carrots.

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 170 to 500 at 500 mm
iso 200, spot metered, F6.3, 1/80 second
Tripod

Artwork Comments

  • Josef Pittner
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