Meet the Wolf Family

Fairy tales give wolves an unfair reputation. In fairy tales, wolves are mean, grandmother-eating machines. In real life, wolves are very different. First of all, most wolves would much rather eat a deer. Deer have much more meat on them than people. One deer can feed an entire family of hungry wolves.


Unlike the monsters in fairy tales, wolves do not like to live alone. Wolves live in family groups called packs. Packs range in size from two to more than 20 wolves.


A male wolf and a female wolf lead the pack. They are called the alpha male and alpha female. This couple stays together for life. They rule the pack like a king and queen.


Only the alphas have cubs. Cubs are born each spring in an underground den. The den protects them from harm and they stay inside for the first few weeks of life. As they grow, they begin to explore outside the den, but can always run back to the safety of their den.


Each wolf has a different role within the pack. Wolves depend on and take care of their pack members. Packs hunt together, they take turns babysitting the cubs, and they all help teach the cubs how to hunt.