The whole truth about a wolf’s eating habits.
After a kill is made the Alpha wolf will always eat first..
The wolf pack is a great example of teamwork when it comes to hunting for food. When the pack sets out to find food for the entire family it is a very efficient operation.
But despite the wolf’s reputation as a prowess hunter, the majority of it’s prey escapes. In a study of moose and wolves, only 3% of moose that were tested by wolves were actually killed by them. It is not an easy life for the wolves to catch large prey.
However, wolves are also very opportunistic. Wolves live mainly on deer, moose, elk or bison, but they also eat beavers,rabbits and even mice. However they do not eat humans.
Despite popular misconceptions, wolves are not a threat to humans! They are very shy around humans and do their best to avoid them in the wild.
Because it is so difficult to catch large prey, wolves are designed for feast or famine. Wolves need to eat from 3-10 lbs of meat a day, but they can eat as much as 22 pounds of meat at a time and then may not eat again for many days.
They do require a lot of water from one to three quarts of water per day, which is dependent on the size of the animal, the climate, and the moisture content of the prey.
After a kill is made the Alpha wolf will always eat first. Wolves usually begin to feed on the rump or the internal organs.
The muscle and flesh is the last part of the prey that is eaten, in contrast with what humans prefer to eat. Their strong jaws and teeth allow them to easily crush bones to get to the soft bone marrow.
Wolves are very important to the ecology of an environment because they hunt out the weak, the sick, the old, and the injured. They help the population of prey animals stay strong and healthy by taking away the weak and letting the strong survive.
Without the wolf to eliminate the weak, old , sick and injured, a herd of deer would become very overpopulated and end up starving to death.
Another important way that wolves help an environment is by allowing the remains of what they can’t eat to feed other animals.
These remains end up feeding animals such as the buzzard, the possum,fox, coyotes and eagles. This helps to keep the forest clean by removing the sick before it can spread to healthy animals in a herd.
There is also some evidence as was studied by L. David Mech that wolves are involved with herd maintenance.
He studied a wolf pack in Minnesota that varied its killing by hunting in a different part of it’s territory each year. This allowed prey numbers elsewhere to recover and thus aided the long-term survival of the pack.
So when you hear the stories that wolves are decimating herd populations of elk, deer or moose or that they are taking out the prime animals of a herd, you will know that this is complete bunk.
The only animal that takes out the prime animals in a herd is man. It is man as the sports hunter that seeks to kill the biggest buck or elk in a herd for bragging rights, thus upsetting the balance of nature. And man is of course always ready to point the finger at the wolves in false accusation.