European Wolf

European wolf living at Wingham Wildlife Park

European Wolf Natural History

A large individual can reach a length of 160cm, standing at 85cm to the top of the shoulder.  The average weight is 35Kg, but 50Kg have been recorded.

Habitat and Distribution
This is a forest dwelling species which can be found in some parts of Russia and Asia as well as Scandinavia, Iberia, Western Alps, Italian Peninsula, Romania, Finland, Germany and Poland. They were once native to Scotland but were hunted to extinction there.

In the wild this species may only live for 7 years. However, they may live for 15 years in captivity.

Groups and Breeding
European Wolves are not as social as American Wolves, and packs may only contain as many as 5 or 6 animals (although larger packs have been recorded).  After mating a female will give birth to a litter of 4 to 7 pups.

This is a carnivore which will feed on  prey as large as Red Deer, Mountain Goats, Moose and Wild Boar.  In areas of human settlement they may also scavenge for food scraps.

This species has for many years been persecuted in the wild for its reputation as a livestock killer and has been hunted to extinction in some countries (including the UK).  Its other main threat comes from the destruction of its forests.

Interesting facts

European Wolves have been genetically identified as being the main wild descendant for the domesticated dog.

European Wolf During Your Day Out in Kent

At Wingham Wildlife Park we have a pack of three European wolves. Our two females are named Aria and Dakota and we have Mowgli who is one of Dakotas male pups from her litter born in 2017. Their enclosure runs along the front of park and you may catch them cooling off in their lake during the summer. The wolves have a mixed diet of red meat, rabbits, chickens and occasionally have a carcass.