Wolf Video Clips

Since many people have asked to see more, here are some old (twenty-plus years!) video clips from my time at the Wild Canid Survival and Research Center in Eureka, MO (aka The Wolf Sanctuary). I have not been back since I graduated college and moved back east, so I'm not so up to snuff on the WCSRC's goings-on right now, but I understand they remain one of the premier wolf conservation, education and reproduction centers in the country.

Bear in mind these animals, like all wild animals, are NOT PETS. This is particularly important for the WCSRC, since many of their animals are destined for reintroduction programs around the world. When I was there they maintained a pack of grey wolves as a "display" pack for educational purposes. The more "exotic" wolves on these clips were off limits to the general public. (Incidentally it is NEVER a good idea for a wild animal to become accustomed to humans, and especially for them to see humans as a source of food. They are NOT your friends just because you feed them. Getting them to lose their fear of humans will only HARM THEM in the long run.) I had to obtain special permission from the US Fish & Wildlife to film there.

Clicking on the pictures will take you to the video files, which are all in QuickTime format. So here ya go--



Mexican Wolves—Dominance display

(3.5 MB)

Wolves have a highly complex social system which is maintained by ritualized displays such as this. It is easy to see who is the dominant wolf here! Notice how he pins the submissive wolf's muzzle to the ground. Notice how carefully the submissive wolf keeps his tail tucked between his legs, and how quickly he rolls over and submits when challenged.

While this looks like bullying and may even look violent, nobody is actually hurt. The ability to resolve conflicts without bloodshed is important when the pack needs every member strong and healthy to survive. Due to displays and rituals such as this, every wolf knows his or her place in the pack, which keeps things running smoothly.


Grey Wolves—"Group Ceremony"

(2.2 MB)

Another ritual wolves use to cement relationships within the pack is the "group ceremony", frequently seen as they are preparing to go out hunting. The pack sort of "rallies" around the alpha wolf (in this case the white one), wagging their tails and playing.

This is also what your pet dog does when he or she greets you when you come home from work. They are glad to see you, but they're also telling you that they know you're the one in charge.

Red Wolves

(1.7 MB)

These are red wolves, in a temporary enclosure while their big enclosure is being constructed. Most of the time these wolves are kept in such large enclosures you cannot see them, and they keep as far away from humans as they can.

I'm actually in a very small enclosure with them, and you can see they would rather not have anything to do with me. This is typical of wild animals, and should be encouraged for everyone's sake. Real wild wolves are afraid of humans and will try to stay far away from them. Hybrids, on the other hand, often lack this fear instinct and can prove dangerous if encountered in the wild. It is suspected that many if not all attacks on humans are in fact coy-dogs or wolf-dog hybrids. (Another reason why irresponsible pet-owning morons should not "dump" their animals out in the country when they grow tired of them!)

Mexican Wolf

(1.7 MB)

The only way I could see these animals was to lie quietly in the corner of an enclosure and wait for their curiosity to get the better of them. It sometimes took HOURS. This is a juvenile who finally couldn't help himself and came over to check me out. He's ready to run at the slightest provocation!

Persian (Iranian) Wolf

(1.9 MB)

This is taken through the chain link fence that surrounds the wolf enclosures. The fence made little difference to the wolves. Whether I was outside or inside the enclosures, it took forever, just sitting there quietly, before one would ever get up the courage to approach me.


(2.9 MB)

This is TERRIBLE video visually, but I include it for the sound. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be surrounded by thirty or forty howling wolves, this is what it sounds like. Turn up your speakers and freak out your coworkers!



Enjoy! Feel free to share them with friends and interested parties. Just remember who owns the copyright (ahem! that would be me). A link back or at least some acknowledgement would be appreciated. Thanks!