In this guide, we’ll answer the question:
“What eats wolves?”
First, you’ll find a short summary of what animals eat wolves in the wild and then get a detailed list of wolf predators.
Wolves, also commonly known as the gray wolf or timber wolf, are large canines native to Eurasia and North America. The wolf is the largest extant member of the family Canidae and is a carnivore that can live up to 13 years but on average has a lifespan of 6 to 8 years.
What Eats Wolves?
Animals that eat wolves include bears, mountain lions, scavengers, tigers, other wolves, and humans. However, wolves are apex predators, meaning they’re at the top of the food chain and don’t have many natural predators.
A bear is a wolf predator and may kill a wolf if it infringes on the bear’s territory or vise-versa.
Bears such as the polar bear, grizzly bear, and black bear will also eat a wolf that has been killed by another animal.
Because bears are also apex predators like wolves, confrontations between these two animals are rare unless a bear is trying to eat a wolf cub.
Although rare, a mountain lion is a wolf predator that will attack this animal if it has strayed away from the wolf pack and is an easy kill. Mountain lions will also hunt a wolf cub if the opportunity presents itself.
Mountain lions and wolves typically avoid each other unless an environmental condition forces these two mammals to hunt on the same grounds.
Plus, wolves travel in packs which makes it harder for a solitary animal like the mountain lion to naturally want to kill a wolf in the wild.
A carnivorous scavenger like a vulture or a hyena will eat wolves that are killed by other predators or have died from natural causes.
Because scavengers are not capable of killing a wolf by themselves, they must eat the leftover meat and carcass from dead organisms.
A tiger will eat a lone wolf if a confrontation arises due to territorial issues; however, wolves are not natural prey for tigers and the chances of this happening are extremely rare.
According to research, there are only four records of tigers killing wolves without consuming them.
Humans are some of the worst wolf predators because these animals are hunted for sport, for their skins, to protect livestock, and to protect other humans.
Some humans around the world will also hunt and kill a wolf to eat this canine meat. Dogs, which are a close relative of the wolf, are commonly consumed meat in many parts of the globe, with North America being one of the only exceptions.
Although wolves travel in packs, the alpha male wolf may attack another wolf if a fight breaks out between the two animals. Wolves may also eat each other during the harsh winter months when no other animals are available to feed on, but they do not typically prey on wolves of the same pack.
A wolf from one pack may also attack a wolf from another pack to kill and eat it. And cannibalize pack mates after they are killed by other wolves or die for other reasons.
And finally, a wolf will eat the remains of a dead wolf in the wild.
What Do Wolves Eat?
Wolves are also predators that must prey on other animals to survive.
You can visit our other guide on what do wolves eat to find out more about what these mammals feed on for nutrition.
Animals That Eat Wolves Summary
You now know what eats wolves in the wild and which species are the top wolf predators.
As you discovered in this guide, there are about 6 animals that eat wolves in nature when a good opportunity strikes.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.