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Word Count: 344
The gray wolf has a larger natural distribution than any other mammal except humans It formerly inhabited all of North America from Alaska and Arctic Canada south to central Mexico and was found in Europe and Asia southward to the Mediterranean Sea the Arabian Peninsula and parts of India and China It lived in almost every type of habitat in the Northern Hemisphere The gray wolf has been eliminated from much of its original range In North America it is now found primarily in Canada and Alaska with smaller numbers in Minnesota and Mexico In 1995 wolves were reintroduced in wilderness areas of the northern Rocky Mountains Large numbers of gray wolves still live in Russia and neighbouring countries and in the Balkans with much smaller populations isolated in parts of central and southern Europe and Scandinavia Wolves are active mostly at night A wolf pack feeds primarily on large animals such as deer moose and caribou which it catches by a stalk and a chase The pack hunts when food is available usually reducing the carcass to hair and a few bones In its hunting the gray wolf performs by weeding out those who are weaker a typical survial of the fittest Unfortunately it may attack domestic livestock and has thus undergone persecution by humans There have been few substantiated wolf attacks on humans in North America but such attacks though unusual have definitely occurred in other parts of the world and have sometimes resulted in death Gray wolves breed between January and April and a litter of on average 6 to 7 pups is born in the spring after a gestation period of about 63 days The young are reared in a den which is normally a natural hole or a burrow usually in a hillside All the members of a pack care for the young who are fed with meat regurgitated by their parents after a hunt Juveniles remain with the pack
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