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What is a wolf?

A wolf is a large predator that depends for its survival on large prey, such as deer, elk, caribou, and in some parts of its range, moose and bison that tip the scales at more than a thousand pounds. It has powerful jaws capable of exerting about 1500 pounds per square inch, or about twice that of the domestic dog. It is accustomed to a feast and famine existence, often going many days without eating then gorging as much as 20 pounds in a single sitting. It's role in nature is to remove the sick and the weak, and in this way create a win-win relationship with its prey. The end result is a system which has succeeded for hundreds of thousands of years.

The wolf is a highly social animal, generally living within the same pack for most, if not all, of its life. Survival depends very much upon the pack. The members of the pack cooperate in hunting, killing large prey, feeding and caring for the young, defending their territory against other packs, and so forth. The pack functions mostly as a strong autocratic system, with each individual having fought for its placement or rank within the group. Generally only the top male and female are permitted to breed, while any attempts to do so by others are punished. When to hunt, where to hunt, and many other activities are also commonly determined by the pack leaders.

Most packs occupy a range of about 80 to 100 square miles, and move about it on a regular basis. The pack members are very athletic, capable of incredible endurance, such as pursuing prey over long distances or ploughing through chest high snow for long periods. Most of their activity occurs at night.

Though quite capable of ripping apart even the strongest of men, not a single documented case exists of a wolf having killed or even severely maimed anyone in the wild. This is because the wolf in the wild, even when in the company of a large pack, is extremely fearful of people. It is rare that it even knowingly comes near them.

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