The wolf is a highly social animal with strong family bonds. The pack consists of a closely related group of individuals, led by the alpha pair. There is a strict hierarchy. Only the alpha pair reproduces.
The male weighs 46–60 kg and the female 30–50 kg.
The wolf is extremely adaptable and has spread to all habitats except tropical rainforest and desert. It is one of the world’s most widely distributed species. However, the Scandinavian population is considered critically endangered.
During winter, the wolves hunt primarily large prey such Eurasian elk. The rest of the year, they also catch roe deer, small mammals and birds.
Rarely exceeds 10 years in the wild, but can live 15 years in captivity.
The Swedish population is recovering from almost complete extinction. Besides protection, its long-term survival depends on a natural immigration of Finnish-Russian wolves or through assisted immigration. The level of inbreeding is already too high. Natural immigration is rare, since migrating wolves are often shot in the reindeer grazing grounds in the north of Sweden or are otherwise lost before they reach the wolf population in mid-Sweden.
The alpha female comes into heat once a year, in February–March. The gestation period is 2 months and the litter size is normally 2–6 pups. The pups are born in a den in May and are blind at birth.
210 is approximately the number of grey wolves in Sweden. Most in Dalarna and Värmland, but there are also wolves as far down as Dalsland and nothern Västra Götaland.
The myth of the bloodthirsty wolf still prevails, despite that the dog, “man’s best friend”, is a direct descendant.
Borås Zoo participates in a conservation program run by the Swedish Zoo Association with the purpose of keeping a healthy zoo population as a genetic source for the future.