By Julia Magsombol 

Local Journalism Initiative 

[email protected]

Through centuries wolves have been misinterpreted by many as wild beasts and dangerous predators. But the truth is they display much affection and emotions to their fellow species. 

In British Columbia the grey wolf subspecies lives in the mainland coast and near-shore islands. 

The wolf (Canis lupus) population in B.C. is stable. Their estimated population is approximately 8,500, and this number differs every year. But since 2015 and 2016, their population has decreased. 

Wolves in B.C. can appear black, grey or brown and can weigh 80 (36 kg) to 150 pounds (68 kg). They can grow to six feet in length.  

From afar, wolves look like dogs, but when one comes near, they are actually huge and can look scary.

Wolves are carnivores, meaning they prefer to eat meat — huge animals like deer, elk, bison, and moose. They also hunt and consume smaller mammals such as beavers, rodents, and hares. 

For many reasons, wolves are interpreted as beasts and that is why an average adult wolf can eat 20 pounds (nine kilograms) of meat in a single meal. 

Another reason is their speed; they are great runners. They can run 50 to 60 km/h which is ideal for hunting. 

Wolves are considered eusocial animals that share four different characteristics: adults live in groups, cooperative care of the young ones, reproductive division of labour, and overlap of generations. Ants and bees are very eusocial. 

Wolves care for each other as individuals. They form deep connections and friendships. They also care for the sick and injured in their pack. If you have watched the movie Twilight or read the book, Jacob Black is a werewolf with deep connections with his family and friends. 

Wolves are also intelligent as they form packs, enabling them to communicate, educate the young, and transfer knowledge across their generations. 

Wolves usually stay in temperate forests, mountains, tundra, taiga, grasslands and deserts. 

Their first home is usually a den, a small cave in the ground. It must be enough to shelter the mother and her pups from the weather and protect them from other animals. 

In winter, wolves are equipped with a thick, double coat of fur, which allows them to endure temperatures as low as –40°F

In 2015 the province decided to remove wolves in the South Selkirk and South Peace regions. The reason for this was to save the mountain caribou. The caribou are at risk of extinction, and their population decreased to approximately 1,500. This was reportedly due to the wolf’s predation. 

Pacific Wild says that wolves are legally exterminated throughout B.C. The wolves are “hunted, trapped and shot from helicopters due to misguided and ineffective wildlife management policy…” 

Their goal is to save the remaining wolf population and stop the killing. For more information, visit:

Wolves in Indigenous culture 

In Indigenous culture, wolves are significant. Just like many Indigenous communities, they represent loyalty, strong family ties, communication, education, deep understanding, and intelligence. 

Many believe that wolves have the strongest supernatural powers and are the most accomplished hunters. 

The First Nations people have a great respect for wolves due to their similarities; they hunt, gather, defend and even educate their tribe or pack. 

Some Indigenous Peoples believe that wolves are the reincarnation of their deceased hunters, which is why they are impersonated at ceremonies. 

Wolves also represent clarity and persistence. The intelligence and determination of wolves can overcome fear, indecision, and confusion. 

First Nations believe that wolves are fierce, loyal, independent and able to offer support on the most challenging healing journey.

For more information about wolves, visit