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International Wolf Center


The International Wolf Center offers a science-based, unbiased approach to wolf education. This approach allows it to access schools and share with the public science-based information to encourage public dialogue and promote understanding of often complex and controversial issues. It maintains a live wolf exhibit, featuring the Exhibit Pack, to enhance both in-person and online educational experiences. These ambassador wolves contribute to the Center’s mission by reinforcing our educational messages and by creating a connection with each one of our visitors.

Visitors will be able to view the Exhibit Pack, which refers to the wolves in the main enclosure. Members of the pack may vary as wolves age and new wolf pups are socialized and added to the Exhibit. There is another pack, the Retired Pack, The Retired Pack has been in existence since 2002 when the 1993 litter was systematically tested for weakness, a natural process that occurs in the wild as well as in captivity. The instigators of those testing behaviors were two arctic wolves born in May 2000. In the wild, wolves that have been tested have the freedom to leave their pack or disperse. In captivity, the center managers have to make that decision for the wolves, so it maintains a retired pack when decisions need to be made for aging wolves.

Every living thing on earth has a unique scientific name in Latin. For instance, the gray wolf’s scientific name is Canis lupus. Species within this scientific class are called Canids. Unlike scientific names, common names are not always unique and can vary by culture and geographic region. For example, a gray wolf living in a forested area might be called a “timber wolf” while a gray wolf living on the tundra might be called a tundra wolf. The Canid family consists of thirty-five living species, and eight inhabit North America. These North American species include gray wolves, red wolves, coyotes, red foxes, gray foxes, kit foxes, swift foxes, and arctic foxes. The eight species may be organized into three general categories: wolves, coyotes, and foxes.

Wolves are the largest members of the Canid family. This is the species from which our pet dogs were domesticated. Wolves once inhabited most of the available land in the northern hemisphere, but due to the destruction of their habitat and persecution by humans, they now occupy only about five to eight percent of the contiguous 48 United States, including, the Arctic Wolf, Northwestern Wolf, Great Plains Wolf, Mexican Wolf, and the Eastern Timber Wolf. Red wolves are only found in a small area of coastal North Carolina. They are a North American species of wolf not found elsewhere, and their social and predatory behaviors are the same as gray wolves.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about International Wolf Center

The territory of a pack of wolves can cover 25 to 150 square miles in the lower 48 states, but as much as a thousand square miles in Alaska and Canada.

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  • International Wolf Center
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