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Word Count: 747
WOLVES-AN ENDANGERED SPECIES For years wolves have been feared and misunderstood This is because people usually fear what they do not understand For instance wolves are not very large creatures they only get about 5 to 65 feet from their nose to the tip of the tail and only 26 to 36 inches in height at the shoulders They weigh in anywhere from 40 to 175 pounds females usually being smaller Their color varies from pure white usually in the Arctic to gray brown or black Grizzled gray is the most common They live anywhere from the frozen arctic tundras to forests and prairies if suitable prey is present They dont live in the deserts or the high mountains Wolves at one time roamed most of the Northern Hemisphere Now theyre basically in Canada and Alaska Of the 48 states only Minnesota has population large enough to maintain itself Ranchers and hunters are opposed to the government reintroducing wolves back into their natural habitat Packs consist of a Alpha Male and an Alpha Female and their offspring which are at least a year or older Pack sizes can range anywhere to 36 members but usually theyre as small as 2 to 8 Each pack runs their own area of land which can range from 50 to 5000 sq miles Packs tend to be stationary during the spring and summer months and nomadic during fall and winter Mating can take place anywhere between January and April Pups are born about 63 days after breeding An average litter consists of about 6 pups The mother stays close for about 2 months while the other wolves bring food Wolves dont usually live more than 10 years in the wild They prey on large hoofed mammals such as deer elk moose caribou bison and even beaver when its available They usually only kill the young old or weaker of the species because they are the easiest
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