Canadian Timber Wolf

Creature of legend, wolves have long played a part in human mythology. Frequently maligned and misunderstood, and feared both as a predator and competitor, wolves have often been subject to persecution by man. Port Lympne Wild Animal Park has a long history with keeping wolves in our collection, and we currently have two species on site; the Canadian timber wolf from North America and the Iberian wolf from Spain.

HABITAT: Wolves are one of the most widespread of all wild dog species, extending across Europe, Asia and North America. The Canadian timber wolf, also known as the Mackenzie Valley wolf has a widespread range across North America – extending as far north as Alaska, across Canada, and down into Western  areas of the United States.

CHARACTERISTICS: Suggested to be largest species of wolf in North America, the Canadian timber wolf is physiologically similar to many of the numerous sub-species of wolves across the world. This lean, long legged canine has a powerful build with strong jaws and muzzles. Their coat colouration ranges through cream, brown, grey and black and their thick fur helps to protect them from the harsh North American winter.

BIOLOGY: Natural and stable behaviours amongst wolf packs have often been poorly understood as man’s ongoing persecution of this species has in fact been partially responsible for unstable behaviour patterns. In the wild, wolf packs are generally large family groups consisting of one monogamous pair and their offspring. Canadian wolves prey on a wide range of species including boar, bison, musk ox, moose, caribou, deer, and elk and hunt together in packs, although their hunting success rate is generally quite low.

CONSERVATION STATUS: Classified as Least Concern, the Canadian wolf has nevertheless been the subject of conservation initiatives in North America. Notably, a group was introduced into Yellowstone National Park in a bid to return a top predator to this environment and restore a natural balance to the region’s ecology. Overall however, a lack of wild prey often brings this species into conflict with man, and a large number continue to be exterminated every year.

PLEASE NOTE: Our Canadian timber wolves are currently off show