What Eats a Wolf? What Animals Eat Wolves? List of Wolf Predators


Here we’re going to tell you what would hunt and eat a wolf, list them, and discuss them further with some insights and further details.

When it comes to hunting trends and the food chain, wolves rank quite high; and as such, they are commonly known as an apex predator. In other words, wolves are spoilt for choice when it comes to prey but are rarely preyed upon.

First, here’s the quick answer, then we’ll look into it in a bit more detail

What Eats a Wolf? Despite being Apex predators, there are animals that eat wolves. These include grizzly bears, polar bears, Siberian tigers, scavengers, and of course, humans. Although very rare, sometimes a wolf might eat another wolf too. But sometimes the hunter can be the hunted as we’ll explore. 

It’s worth mentioning here that most of the cases in which these animals attack wolves are mainly based on territorial reasons. Eating a wolf is merely a bonus.

Since animals like grizzly bears and Siberian tigers hunt similar prey, they can find it hard to coexist, and because of this, a skirmish can be expected when two species are in close proximity.

The Wolf Advantage

A wolf’s status as an apex predator is not lost on other animals either. Thanks to their strength, agility, intelligence, and speed, most animals steer clear of wolves. However, like all other animals in the animal kingdom, the rule about the “survival of the fittest” does indeed rule supreme.

This is why, wolf pups, as well as old, weak or injured wolves, are more likely to be attacked and eaten by other animals when compared to wolves that are still in their prime.

Strength in Numbers

In such skirmishes, although grizzlies and other predators of wolves have the advantage of size and strength, the hunter can soon become the hunted.

Wolves will usually triumph as they have the advantage of numbers on their side. Since wolves travel mostly in packs, it’s hard for their natural enemies to single one wolf out or to target the whole pack. 

Humans Vs Wolves

When it comes to humans, we are probably the only true apex predator. Given the huge human population, varieties of tastes and the weapons at our disposal.

There’s hardly any animal out there that humans somewhere or the other don’t hunt and consume.

Wolves are no different. In many parts of the world, wolf meat is actually eaten. Of course, when it comes to hunting, humans greatly rely on technology, weapons, and machinery to counter the many natural benefits that each member of the animal kingdom has available to them.

Apart from eating wolf meat, wolves are also commonly hunted by humans as a sport or for their fur.

Wolves Eaten by other animals

We have to remember, that not all animals are in all parts of the world. So there will only be animals that will eat a Wolf if they share a natural habitat and territory with them. So let’s take a look at what animals eat a wolf.

Bears Vs Wolves

Bears – be it grizzlies, black bears or polar bears – are all known to attack and eat a wolf should the opportunity arise.

Since wolves are known to thrive in a number of climates and parts of the world, they can be found in both in close proximity of grizzlies, black bears, and polar bears. 

As bears are also an apex predator, confrontations between bears and wolves are not a common occurrence. However, if the two species are in a confrontational situation, instigated by the other, or are seen as a threat, they will attack.

Although bears have the advantage of size and strength, wolves have speed and numbers on their side. There are various instances in history where both species have triumphed over the other.

More often than not, in such confrontations, both species target the others’ weaklings or cubs. 

Siberian Tigers Vs Wolves

Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, are probably the most prominent natural predator of wolves.

In Russia, particularly in the Sikhote-Alin mountains, where there was a large population of the Amur tigers, wolves were virtually nonexistent until the start of the twentieth century. However, as the tiger population in the region dwindled due to varying reasons, the wolves started to prosper. It’s quite ironic that one of the wolf’s main natural predators is a member of the cat species.

siberian tiger
siberian tiger

Scavengers Vs Wolves

Although scavengers like hyenas and vultures stand next to no chance against a live wolf, they reign supreme once the wolf has died. Regardless of the cause of death of the wolf, it then becomes a meal for all the scavengers in the vicinity. 

vulture
scavengers like vultures eat wolves

Wolves vs Wolves

The main strength of wolves lies in the fact that they stay in packs. The average size of a wolf pack consists of 8 wolves.

This mostly includes the alpha male and female and their offspring. Although wolves in a pack are usually a tight-knit group, fights and aggression are not unheard of.

These can sometimes lead one wolf or more to kill another – within their own pack. And if times are harsh, especially during harsh winter months, and therefore prey is hard to come by, then the surviving wolves might even eat the dead wolf.

This phenomenon is even more common when it comes to outsider wolves that try to encroach on a pack’s territory.

wolves eat wolves
wolves eat wolves

Other Predators of Wolves

This list of wolves’ predators does go on. There are other animals like leopards and mountain lions that might attack and possibly even eat a wolf if the wolf threatens them or tries to gain access to their prey. However, these cases are rare.

Learning Resources

Want to learn more about Wolves in general? Indulge your passion for wolves and get educated further with these fascinating books on Amazon.

The Hidden Life of Wolves

Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation

Video Resource

To Finish…

There are few animals that are called Apex predators, but nature is such a complex system that even Apex predators are not immune to being attacked and eaten – when the circumstances are right.

We hope this has been useful in understanding more about what eats a wolf!

Michael

A Certified Ecologist and an Entomologist, Michael has been interested in all aspects of Nature for many years. It's only now he's decided, along with his partner Fran, to begin documenting what he knows.

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