Wolf 381 was first collared as a pup in 1991 when it weighed 38 pounds.
In 1993, he was re-collared as an adult and weighed 91 pounds. At
the time of death, he was almost 7 years old.
Wolf number 381 was killed by other wolves. This
was evidenced by bite marks at the rump and throat. His radio-collar
emitted a mortality signal on January 20, 1998. A conventional
radio collar is programmed to emit a mortality signal if the
wolf does not move after a certain amount of time. In this case
it was set for 4 hours. Wolf 381 was retrieved in the field
by Kawishiwi Field Lab Technicians, Brad and Brian Lorenz and
International Wolf Center intern, Jennifer Zahratka.
Gray wolves (Canis lupus) are territorial.
Every year a certain percentage of wolves are killed by other
wolves in what is called "intraspecific strife," a conflict
over wolf pack territory boundaries. Scientific research supports
the idea that wolves run a greater risk of fatal encounters
along the edges of their territories than in their centers.
Wolves apparently patrol the borders of their territories frequently.
Wolves also scent-mark the territory edges about twice as much
as the centers.
Examination of wolf 381 revealed several interesting
- It was noted that the toe nails on the left rear leg were
very long. Wolf 381 was not using this leg much for some
- He was also mange infested with about 40% hair loss. Mange
is caused by tiny, parasitic mites which cause a wolf to
lose most if not all of its fur.
- When 381 was re-collared at about 2 years old, it was
noted at that time that the wolf had broken his left front
leg. The leg was completely healed but the injury left a
large lump on the leg. So some time between the first collaring
at about 5 months old and 20+ months later, the leg was
broken and completely healed.