“Giant killing machines” fact or fiction?Author: mckaylasfall11 | Filed under: Ecology and the Environment
My interest in the “Giant Canadian Gray Wolves” started when I saw the movie “The Grey” and pointed out to a family member that the wolves in the movie had looked rather large. I’ve seen plenty of wolves up close, and they all seemed awfully small, like a medium-sized dog. A family member told me about an article she had read about Giant Canadian Gray Wolves in and around Idaho. So I decided to check it out for myself.
The article I read told me that Canadian Gray Wolves were introduced in Idaho and the Yellowstone area of Wyoming in 1995. Since then,the wolves have multiplied and supposedly evolved into a larger, meaner sub species of wolf. It has been said that these wolves travel in huge packs of up to twenty wolves. Each wolf can weigh up to 180 pounds. It’s been estimated that 2000 of these wolves are in the region and are constantly breeding. Idaho State Representative Phil Hart added, “For every one animal they kill to eat, these Canadian wolves kill about three more just for the fun of it. The
biologists call it ‘sport-reflex killing’ or ‘lustful killing’. The Canadian Gray Wolf is a killing machine.” The article went on to say that these predators will attack and eat humans.
Another articleby Don Harkins includes information from Ron Gillett of the Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition. Gillett says that wolves will wait for a deer, elk, or moose cow to give birth, and then kill the cow and the newborn calf. The wolves will then either eat them or leave to find another kill. He also says how the wolves are fearless when hunting in packs and will dig up hibernating bears and kill them. They have also been heard to attack healthy, mature grizzly bears and adult male
moose. Rex Rammell, who is running for governor, says, “As governor, I will use every legal means to remove the wolves. It is not in the best interest of our native wildlife, the true gems of Idaho, to maintain any number of the most
effective killing machines God ever created.”
Upon researching more, though, I found a source that denied the allegations of any “giant” wolves. One article talks about how the photo above is a hoax. State officials and spokesman for Idaho Wildlife Services, Todd Grimm, say the photo has been tagged to a number of locations, not just Sun Valley, where it “originated”. Wildlife officials say the
picture was most likely taken in Canada. The weight of the wolf has been estimated anywhere from 197 pounds to 230 pounds, which is far larger than the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s figure for the average weight of an Idaho
wolf- 120 pounds. Grimm points out, though, that wolves always look bigger when hanging in that position and alongside a hunter. The wolf is most likely not larger than 135 pounds, which doesn’t break any weight record.
Another source counters the attributes of this “killing machine”. There have only been a total of two deaths from healthy wild wolves in North America since before 1900. Also, wolves often harvest more food than they can eat in one sitting, like humans do. Scientists call this “surplus killing”, which means if the wolves do not finish a meal, they tend to come
back to the carcass. In the meantime, the carcass feeds other scavengers. No wolves have been recorded as just leaving a carcass carelessly or hunting for the fun of it.
Are wolves really evolving into monstrous killing machines?
Have they become fearless of humans, attacking them whenever the opportunity
Or are anti-wolf coalitions trying harder and harder to kill of the