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Wild Kids Articles

Here in the Wild Kids section you’ll find fun facts and stories about wolves and wildlands published in the International Wolf magazine and written just for kids. 

Spring 2019

What big teeth you have!
The teeth and jaws of adult gray wolves are well suited to their
diet and hunting methods. Over 90 percent of gray wolves’ diet
is meat, so they must hunt live prey or eat from a carcass. Adult
gray wolves have 42 teeth. Adult humans have only 32. Wolves have several types of teeth that serve different purposes while hunting or eating. These teeth include incisors, canines, carnassial and molars.

Activities: Crossword

Spring 2019

Paws and Effect:
Wolves have fantastic feet with adaptations that set them apart
from other animals in their environment. Wolves’ very large
feet help them move around confidently on harsh terrain. In
the winter those big feet even double as snowshoes, keeping them from sinking down into the snow as much as do other animals.

Activities: Word Search

Winter 2018

Canine Communication
Humans communicate in lots of different languages, both spoken and written, in order to exchange information and express feelings. We can use words to communicate with people—and even with some animals—but animals have other ways of communicating with each other. By studying wolves for many years, we have learned a lot about how they communicate with members of their own species. Wolves can use vocalizations, or sounds, to communicate feelings or situations, but they also position their body parts in ways that provide information to other wolves. This is called postural communication.

Activities: Wolf Search

Fall 2018

Wolf Folklore
Folklore is the word for the traditions, customs and beliefs found within a culture. Folklore is passed on by telling stories, sharing superstitions, creating music and art, and teaching by word-of-mouth. A folk tale, or story, may contain important lessons, tell a joke or reveal the moral values of the culture it came from.


  • Start Your Own Story
  • Word Jumble


Summer 2018

What is an Ethogram? An ethogram is a catalog of animal behaviors. Here at the International Wolf Center we use an ethogram as we observe our wolves because it helps us understand the reason for each behavior, and tells us what the animals are  communicating. We see play behaviors, dominance behaviors and confidence behaviors in our wolves.

Activity: Crossword puzzle and vocabulary

Spring 2018

How Do Wolves Keep Warm? During winter, humans put on coats, hats, mittens and boots to go outdoors.

Do wolves wear hats? No! But they have adaptations that help them stay warm outside in the snow. Adaptations are physical traits that have evolved to keep an animal alive. Wolves have very thick fur that keeps them warm all winter.

Activities: Word Find and Match the Characteristics

Hunting Prey
Wolves hunt many different kinds of prey such as ungulates, rodents and rabbits.


Winter 2017

Ambassador Wolf Behavior: International Wolf Center visitors often ask our staff what the ambassador wolves might be thinking—especially when the wolves come up to the windows and peer inside. People assume they may be interested in food or looking for wolf care staff, but in fact, we have no way of knowing exactly what animals think or feel.

Wolf FAQ: 
Do wolves eat in a certain order, and is the order based on dominance?

What is the usual eye color of wolves? Can they be blue?

Fall 2017

Citizen Science: In our previous issue, we discussed how important citizen science is, and how kids just like you can get involved.

Citizen scientists’ eyes and ears help us collect information that informs scientists who study wolves.

Vocabulary: Rendezvous site

Ambassador Wolf Behaviors: “Obnoxious Submission”
Lower-ranking wolves approach and greet higher-ranking wolves in a constant—and “annoying”—manner by whining, licking the muzzle and pawing at the higher-ranking wolf’s face.

Summer 2017

Citizen Science: This young man, watching our ambassador wolves in their enclosure, is demonstrating observation, a first step in practicing citizen science!

All over the world, girls and boys dream of putting on lab coats and becoming scientists. Some kids want to be biologists, some want to study human behavior, some want to be astronomers— but most of them make one mistake. They think they can’t start being scientists until they enter college or until they get a degree.

Vocabulary: Subspecies

Ambassador Wolf Behaviors: Jaw sparring is a common wolf behavior in which two wolves jockey for position over each other with open mouths, often accompanied by snarling or growling.

Spring 2017

Notes from the Field: “Dispersal” is a word often used when discussing wild wolves. It comes from the word “disperse,” which means to scatter, distribute or spread over a wide area.

Activity: Arctic Pup Word Find

Ambassador Wolf Behaviors: Snowplows and face wipes are two common winter behaviors you might see in our ambassador wolves here at the International Wolf Center.


Winter 2016

Notes from the Field: As nights start getting crisper and aspen trees turn gold, beavers begin preparing to live all winter beneath the ice.

Activity: Which wolf gets dinner? Can you guess which wolf finds the prey? Follow the lines to see if you’re right!

Meet the Pup Brothers: Adult wolves Aidan, Denali and Boltz have adopted the arctic wolf pups, Axel and Grayson.

wildkids_fall2016 Fall 2016

Notes from the Field: We got Axel and Grayson from Canada when they were very young. They came from a litter of four, so they are brothers.

Activity: Arctic Pups Word Find

Meet the Pup Brothers: Axel and Grayson were born on May 2, 2016. They are arctic wolves, a subspecies of the gray wolf species. The arctic wolf subspecies consists of a few hundred to a few thousand individuals in the wild, and only around 100 in captivity, so Axel and Grayson are actually very rare!

wildkids_summer2016 Summer 2016

Notes from the Field: With spring just around the corner, wolf pups will be born into the packs.

Vocabulary: Crossword Puzzle

Meet the Pack: The “old man” of our Exhibit pack is Grizzer. He is 12 years old, which is old for a wolf, and he was born on May 5, 2004. Grizzer is a Great Plains subspecies of the gray wolf.

wildkids_spring2016 Spring 2016

Notes from the Field: With spring just around the corner, wolf pups will be born into the packs.

Vocabulary: Double Puzzle

Meet the Pack: Boltz came to the International Wolf Center in 2012 when he and Luna were very young pups.

wildkids_winter2015 Winter 2015

Notes from the Field: Winter is the easiest time for wolf tracking because in snow, the signs, including tracks, scent posts and scat are more visible.

Activity: Double Puzzle

Meet the Pack: Ambassador wolf Luna is a Great Plains subspecies of the Gray wolf. Three-and-a-half years old, she is the only female in the exhibit pack at the interpretive center in Ely, Minnesota.

wildkids_fall2015 Fall 2015

Notes from the Field: Wolves in the wild in this area are born in late April or early May. During the late summer and early fall, the pups live with the pack in an area called a rendezvous site.

Activity: Make a Word

Meet the Pack: Denali is a Rocky Mountain subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus occidentalis). He is the largest member of the Exhibit Pack at the International Wolf Center, weighing approximately 135 pounds.


Summer 2015

Notes from the Field: Wolves around the world mostly eat hoofed animals scientists call ungulates. This includes deer, antelope, musk ox, caribou, elk, bison, and moose.

Activity: Word Find

Meet the Pack: Aidan turned seven years old earlier this year. He continues to be the dominant male in the pack. 


Spring 2015

Notes from the Field: Winter is a great time for scientists to track and study wolves, because wolves are easily seen against the white winter snow, especially from an airplane.

Activity: Word Search

Meet the Pack: Grizzer is a Great Plains subspecies of the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus nubilus). He is currently the only wolf in retirement at the International Wolf Center.


Winter 2014

Learn With Wild Kids
When Jacob Tespa, age 12, visited the International Wolf Center for a Wolf Watch program this past summer, he had a chance to learn and practice what biologists do. 

Activity: Word Find 

Meet the Pack: Boltz is a Great Plains subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus). Boltz joined the exhibit pack July 30, 2012.


Fall 2014

What Inspires You? Wolves often provide inspiration. Being inspired means that something or someone has influenced you in a way that makes you want makes you want to take action.

Activity: Word Find

Meet the Pack: Luna came to the International Wolf Center in 2012. She is a Great Plains subspecies of Canis lupus, the gray wolf. Luna is the only female in the Center’s Exhibit Pack.

WildKids Summer 2014

Summer 2014

Notes from the Field: Have you ever gone for a hike and found signs that an animal had been there? Animal signs are little clues that show us that animals live in the area. These signs can be as diverse as holes, scaly skin, bones and nests.

Activity: Word Find

Meet the Pack: Aidan was born on April 27, 2008, and since then has been part of the International Wolf Center’s Exhibit Pack with his littermate Denali.

Spring 2014 WildKids

Spring 2014

Birthday Girl Raises Money for Wolves
It’s not every day that a 10-year-old foregoes birthday presents, raises money to support wolves and convinces her parents to travel more than 2,000 miles to deliver the donation in person.

Activity: Make-a-Word

Meet the Pack: Denali is the largest member of the International Wolf Center’s Exhibit Pack. Many visitors mistakenly assume Denali is the dominant member of the pack due to his size.