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Published on November 27th, 2009 | by Zachary Shahan


Alberta’s Record Size Wolf: Fact or Fiction?

There’s an email currently circulating around that features a wolf shot in the Drayton Valley area in Alberta, Canada. There’s no doubting that if the photograph is real, it could be one of the biggest on record, though an official weight has yet to be documented.

The timber wolf was hunted by a bear hunter, and rumor has it, this was following a recorded attack upon a black bear by the large canine. While accounts of this wolf have varied – with some stating that it weighed as much as 600 lbs, a better rough estimate of its weight by apparent wildlife experts has placed it at around 235 lbs.

Though some are still questioning the true existence of a timber wolf around this size (the increased ability of individuals to manipulate with Photoshop and other software programs leads to reluctance), if in fact the wolf weighs in at this size it would be recording setting. Previously, the biggest wolf on record was 175 lb Alaskan wolf reported in 1944.

Unfortunately, focus upon this wolf issue has begun for the wrong reasons. In addition to the email chain that’s circulating, the wolf is a hot topic amongst hunters on hunting forums online. While there may be others out there like it, it is possible that this wolf, if reports are true, was an anomaly. Rather than being hunted for sport, it could have been studied in a natural setting for research purpose and an increased understanding of the evolution of the species.

Fact or fiction – the hype surrounding Alberta’s enormous timber wolf does make us wonder what other species are living among us that we’ve yet to discover. What do you believe?

Image Via: Flickr User PublicEnergy with a Creative Commons License

Additional source: National Park Services

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

130 Responses to Alberta’s Record Size Wolf: Fact or Fiction?

  1. AnnaKleveno says:

    Call me stupid I don’t care so what maybe I dont have the exact amount of pups or blah blah blah and I wasnt insisting they “fix” teenagers I am talking about “fixing” adults who have 4 or more freaking children. Anyways non the less you read too much into what I had to say I was giving examples not facts…. I don’t pretend to be the smartest person alive so if calling me stupid and saying you are going to puke well then be it I AM STUPID AND YOUR LOOSING YOUR DINNER. Does it make you feel better that I agree with you. To a person that has nothing better to do then to down a complete stranger you know nothing about. I am sick of hear OH POOR animal this or animal that GOOD grief get a life. If people would put as much passion they have towards animals towards the human race this world would be a much better place and there wouldn’t be people in the world that get there jollies off my making fun of and trying to down someone they know nothing about.. Sure hope it was as good for you as it was for me…Damn I need a ciggerette shit baby do it again…

  2. coalmole says:

    Steak anyone? Oh no protect the cattle too! Don’t put those suckers on their tits …that’s inhumane! Gimme a break! Put a gun in your hand in front of a hungry or threatened wolf what would you do?

  3. coalmole says:

    What really entertains me is the people who truly understand the need for population control (hunting ) & conservation are probably sitting back reading all of these threads laughing at the bickering between the “hunters & tree huggers “…

  4. Brad says:

    I am a hunter and a conservationist. I do not agree with the wolf hunt at all and yet let me remind i to am a hunter and i love to hunt but taken out top predators such as wolves will do nothing but harm our ecosystem just wait and see.

    • Freedom Fighter says:

      Where was this at? Alberta Canada. Not our country, not our business. When is this country going to quit sticking their nose into everyone’s affairs. We are the race that needs to be controlled.

    • keith mooney says:

      i agree i hunt as well the only animal i wouldnt shoot is a wolf he is like a brother were connected be one with them they can help you

  5. michael says:

    im in favor of a wolf hunt. not all out removal, just a season.
    my lab wolf mix pup is 125. @ 8months i can see this wolf reaching that size, tho i would beleive it to be a domestic escape/ or released.

  6. jamie whibley says:

    So where is the wolfs body now, produce it measure it and end all notions of it being real or fake. If you tell me this hunter does not have the body or disposed of it, a magnificent trophy like that…………….right!

  7. hector says:

    i am impressed they finally got jack nicholson

  8. harold caudron says:

    a 120 lb wolf is a big me a 150 lb and i may believe dont account for nuthing’.harold

  9. Fen says:

    In my opinion, the wolf population is too low world-wide to make even a seasonal hunt appropriate. And as for hungry or angry wolves, they stay away from humans if at all possible. also the only places you see wolves hunting cattle are in areas where the natural prey of wolves have been driven out or killed to protect the cattle feeding areas. Given a choice a wolf would eat a hare over some child’s rabbit and they would much rather eat bison than beef. the animals everyone sees running around stealing children and pets aren’t wolves, though many will report ‘A wolf took my Dog’. In fact recently in my area someone claimed a wolf was eating her chickens, not only was it not a wolf, it wasn’t even canine, it was one of her barn cats. Regardless of that fact, every coyote, fox, and dog that looked anything like a wolf was rounded up and killed.

    My own German Shepherd Husky mixes were supposed to be part of that. I hunt, and now I have a $1,500 fine for shooting at an animal control officer, my neighbor was more complacent than me and now he’s facing jail time for having a wolf hybrid, even though his dog was an Alaskan Mal. I wonder how long it will be before this gets in the news.

    PS. Wolves have been seen in my area in over a hundred years.

    • joe says:

      I live in WI we introduced wolves back into the wild. Now we are hunting them again. The are costing 200,000 worth of damage per year. Killing countlless dogs and cats as well. They are also being a real harm to the deer poppulation. Deer hunters are pissed. 20 years ago we missed the wolf. Not anymore.

      • Volf says:

        Killing countless dogs and cats? LOL! What an idiot. Poor domesticated animals! Keep your animals inside people. The funniest thing I’ve red in your post is that they are being a real danger to the deer population. Haha. Too much! Maybe they don’t teach americans that deer are what wolves hunt for food. Duh. And they have more right to them, than a bunch of hicks like you do.

        • B S says:

          Think about this I’m sure that you are comfortable in your urban home which probably has taken some sort of wild life habitation away.Are you quite frankly any better.The human population is with out a doubt disgusting.Look outside your urban window and ask if you are any better

        • PJ says:

          I you want to live in this country and have a opinion . Learn how to spell ( red)

  10. Dave says:

    Wolves are actually my favorite creatures. I was told as a child that wolves could be as much as five hundred something pounds. To read that realistically this wolf (possibly largest) was only 235 pounds, actually doesn’t shake my admiration for them whatsoever. I would rather let wolves live and compete with them for hunting haha, I read that wolves compete for prey with humans and usually don’t succeed. But I don’t feel such a beautiful creature deserves to be killed so easily. Especially since this article mentioned it being involved with a bear attack.

  11. KEN STANAFORD says:

    I WISH PEOPLE IN THIS AREA WOULD LEARN THAT A COMPLETE ECO SYSTEM LEFT ALONE TO KEEP ITSELF IN CHECK IS THE ONLY WAY. I’m a hunter, but also a conservationist, yes you can be both, and I live on the cumberland mtn area of Tenn. and I know what I’m talking about. We now have to many coyotes because we destroyed the other big predators. If we continue to second guess and toy with nature I fear nature will toy with us. Wolves and cougars and bears were originally here for a reason, it may not be a reason that fits our agenda, but its truly the right reason. People leave things alone for once, bring these treasures back and enjoy what GOD gave us to enjoy. Thank you very much.

    • joe says:

      Then what happened to the dinosours? There are areas in northern Wisconsin where you can barely find a whitetail deer because the wolves have killed them all. I happen to like deer. Now what? Oh Tenn has some of the crappiest wildlfe management ever. Ive been there I didn’t see squat for wildlife exept in nat. Parks. Why? Crappy management.

  12. david says:

    Yes this picture of this big wolf is real . A nuffalynn. Is the same size. Check it out.

  13. Pierre-Luc Grenon says:

    I believe this after taking this timberwolf footprint picture :

  14. Neveryoumind says:


  15. Killallhunters says:

    Look at you mr brave scumbag holding up a dead animal, survival of the fittest my ass

  16. Moose says:

    I see a need to hunt SOME wolves the area I grew up in is so over run that deer and elk population has dropped dramatically. It’s bad when kids or adults can’t go for a walk with out seeing them. This is also an area that hasn’t seen wolves this close in years. But don’t hunt them to as sport hunt them in areas that there are being a problem.

  17. Nelly says:

    So sad that the wolf got shot
    i heart wolves

  18. K says:

    How tall is the man holding up the wolf’s body?
    We aren’t told.

  19. keith mooney says:

    Wolves are not aggressive usually winter is the worst season for them bc food is so hard to find im getting a wolf dog so i can better understand them they are my most favorite animal and they are my spirit animal

  20. Brian B says:

    The Minnesota limited wolfhunt, about to commence, is allowed by the MN DNR. I see no problem with it. If we know how much space an average pack requires and an average pack size then we all know about how many wolves there are in the hunt area and how many that area will support. If packs get larger or more numerous, then it follows they will need to encroach into agriculture areas and other areas occupied by humanoids. Not a good combination. Those who advocate that wolves only take the weakest animals in the deer herd and therefore improve the herd could apply that same logic to the limited wolf hunt. Then, perhaps the hunt will stengthen the wolf population.

  21. Thunder says:

    When I pick up my German Shepard, his legs easily touch the ground. But I don’t see why Dept. of Natural Resources doesn’t relocate them or thin out their numbers if needed, it doesn’t make sense to kill wolves for money like the Ivory trade people do to elephants. Selling expensive hunting licenses is the same as selling Ivory. Just limit their numbers scientifically if they are a problem.

  22. peggy says:

    If it weighed that much that guy must be very strong!

  23. penny tinklenberg says:

    how come we r not seeing any of these huge wolves in a news paper with a article saying weight length

    • Matthews710 says:

      If that wolf is real, the guy who killed it should be shot and pissed on and then the story revisited on national television do everyone knows why he was both shot and pissed on. I would pay a cover charge to piss on him for killing an animal that rare.

      • joe says:

        Come to northern Wi and see how bad those dam wolves are. Let your dog out to play and never see it again. Yea real RARE. Get out of your cubicle.

  24. Dani says:

    Hunters are pussies.

  25. kyle says:

    I would slap that dumb smurk right off his face!!!! I am no tree hugger but i can tell when something is wrong. This is just wrong. They need 2 make some laws around this shit. Every time i search world record size for any type of animal there is always a picture that pops up with some dumb hunter having shot the animal. I can see where the tree huggers are comming from its starting to piss me off 2.

  26. Genevieve says:

    That’s a real wolf alright. In fact, about a year and a half ago, I saw one in North Central WI and it was actually larger than that one. They sure do move quickly too. It was racing along side me on the side of the road and turned and looked at me, I was driving at least 55 mph. It was scary to think that these wolves could grow so large. I wouldn’t want to meet up with one unprotected.

  27. kevin freckel says:

    ya know i`m a hunter and “well killing an animal like this,why??
    because they compete for game animals? if you dont want competition go to a f#$@king reserve! they eat to live not for sport….this is just about stupid!

  28. Janine says:

    I’ve had wolves like this on my doorstep in the mornings when I was growing up as a kid. I lived in northern Alberta. Right up against wolf country. When the population got too high, the wolves would run in huge packs and take down full sized healthy adult moose, cattle, elk and so on. They are a necessity to a balanced ecosystem up here, but there is nothing other than humans that will keep their numbers under control. When the population was at a healthy level the largest pack I ever saw was 3. Usually these large wolves are fine hunting alone or with one partner. It’s less of a drain on the rest of the system too when numerous wolves that size aren’t having to fed. They do indeed come that size, and when you accidentally run into one walking down your driveway, it’s enough to make a kid almost pee their pants.

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