Hokkaido Grey Wolf
The Hokkaido Grey Wolf is also known as the Ezo Wolf. Unfortunately, this magnificent animal is one of the two extinct sub-species of Canis lupus. The other extinct sub-specie is the Honshu Wolf. However, the Hokkaido Grey Wolf is larger in size than the Honshu Wolf.
The Hokkaido Grey Wolf is the largest member of the genus Canis. Its shoulder height ranges from 0.6 meters to 0.9 meters, which roughly translates to 26 to 36 inches. Typically, the Hokkaido Grey Wolf’s weight varies between 32 kilograms and 62 kilograms (70 to 135 pounds). According to DNA evidence, the Grey Wolf shares a common ancestry with the domestic dog.
The Hokkaido Grey Wolf was endemic to the island of Hokkaido, Japan. This species of wolf became extinct during the Meiji restoration. When ranching was introduced in Hokkaido during the Meiji restoration, the wolves were considered as a menace as they were attacking the ranch animals. This led to a systematic chemical extermination of the animals. The animals were poisoned and by 1889, the Hokkaido Grey Wolf was deemed as extinct.
In Japanese mythology and religion, the wolf occupies a rather benign place. The clan leader Fujiwara no Hidehira was said to have been raised by wolves, and the wolf is symbolically linked with Mountain Kami in Shinto on Honshu island. The famous example is Wolf Kami of Mitsumine Shrine which is located in the town of Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture.
Even today, there have been reported sightings of the Hokkaido Grey Wolf from time to time. However, none of these can be confirmed.
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