Wolf, Grey Wolf

(Canis lupus)




Facts about this animal

The Wolf is similar to a German shepard dog although with a narrower chest and longer legs. Females are smaller than males. The head-body length is 100-140 cm, the height at the shoulder is 60-95 cm and it weights 18-80 kg. The neck is strong and thick, the ears are prominent. It has a broad snout with a large nose pad. There are often markings below and between the eyes. The upper lip is buff-coloured.


The coat is usually sprinkled with grey but variable from white to black; also brownish-reddish-yellowish and pale through all intergrading tones. The under parts are lighter, usually white-yellow. The dorsal hairs are longer and usually darker. The tail is straight, darker on the upper surface and often black-tipped. The legs are long, the fore ones stronger and with a fifth toe with a dew claw on the feets. The colour is lighter than that of body and feet, almost whitish and there is very often a dark vertical band on the front legs.

Did you know?
That domestic dogs, from the tiny Chihuahua to the huge Great Dane are all descendants of the wolf? Already 60,000 years ago, or more, primitive humans living in hunting and gathering cultures tamed wolves and then selectively bred the animals to create the many different types of dogs that now exist.


Name (Scientific) Canis lupus
Name (English) Wolf, Grey Wolf
Name (French) Loup, Loup gris
Name (German) Wolf
Name (Spanish) Lobo común
Local names Albanian: Ujku
Croatian: Vuk
Czech: Vlk
Estonian: Susi
Finnish: Susi
Hindi: Bheriya
Nekra, Bighana
Hungarian: Farkas
Icelandic: Úlfur
Inuit: Amarok
Italian: Lupo
Lettish: Vilks
Lithuanian: Vilkas
Norwegian: Ulv
Polish: Wilk
Portuguese: Lobo
Romanian: Lup
Romansh: Luv
Slovak: Vlk dravý
Slovenian: Volk
Swedish: Varg
Turkish: Kurt
CITES Status Population of Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan: Appendix I All other populations: Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Chris Muiden



Range Asia, Europe, North America
Habitat All northern habitats where there is suitable food.
Wild population Unknown, but stable (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 1113 reported to ISIS (2009)

In the Zoo

Wolf, Grey Wolf


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 82 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


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Why do zoos keep this animal

Zoo exhibits with Wolves are powerful teaching tools for engendering human appreciation for and understanding of nature and the ecological role of carnivores. This power comes from the close relationship that humans of many cultures have had with wolves for millennia. This relationship is and has been both affiliative and competitive.


Wolves are also kept in zoos for achieving more direct conservation goals. The Mexican Grey Wolf, Canis lupus baileyi, is held by more than 40 zoos or wildlife facilities in both Mexico and the United States of America for the purpose of conservation breeding in support of reestablishing wild Mexican Wolf populations.