Wolf packs are a family and an important part of its environment. In the documentary Jim Dutcher wanted to see exactly how wolf packs live so he and his wife began living in an enclosed but natural area with a pack of wolves called the Sawtooth Pack. Wolves themselves and their habits are rarely filmed or photographed but Jim and his wife Jamie created this environment for this pack in order to learn more about their behavior and interaction within their habitat. (Wolves At Our Door, 1997, video) During their observations they found that wolves have a social structure with a pack leader. The other wolves show the leader respect by submission, licking his or her face, whining and their tails always remain lower than the pack leader. The leader is the dominant animal and maintains order of the pack because it’s imperative to assure the safety and protection of their family. This is a lot of responsibility for the leader but in it keeps the functions of the pack running smoothly and cooperatively. All wolf packs have a ranking for each member of the pack and structure that must be followed. The order was very strict but it was to ensure they could survive their environment. (Wolves At Our Door, 1997, video) In the 1930’s is when the North American wolf became a nuisance to people because they were attacking and killing livestock to the extent that people were allowed to trap, poison, shoot and kill the wolves. So much so that by the 1970’s in the west part of Northern American, wolves were then considered endangered. There were still very few wolves left in parts of Minnesota and Michigan. In 1986, a pack from Canada moved south and began to breed, had five pups and was considered the Magic Pack because of their habits and how they grew and became more packs. In 1995 and 1996 the United States Fish and Wild Life Air lifted 66 wolves from Canada to Yellowstone Park to reintroduce them and try to repopulate the wilderness areas. By 2008, the North American wolves’amounts had risen to 1,645 wolves and 217 different packs. (Chadwick, March 2010)
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