What Does the Wolf Fear?
What does a wolf fear most? Quite high on the food chain, there are not many predators who will take on a wolf, let alone a wolf pack. Wolves are pack animals, and besides environmental and weather factors, such as droughts or food scarcity, wolves are not afraid of much. However, they are afraid of humans.
The Big Bad Wolf
Wolves have been feared by humans, vilified, and hunted throughout all of agrarian history. Where people settled, they attracted smaller animals who in turn were prey for larger animals. Inevitably some humans, especially the smaller kind, would be attacked by wolves.
Stories of wolves as villains populated humans' imaginations. European folklore abounds in warnings about wolves, including the eponymous Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.
When Europeans settled in the Americas, wolves were swiftly dealt with. Hunted to near extinction over the centuries that followed, there are only 40 red wolves left in the wild in North Carolina. A few thousand grey wolves remain in Alaska and northern Michigan.
Wolves have every right to be here as other species. When you remove one predator from the ecosystem, the balance is off and causes problems in other areas. There are ways this is being combatted. The gray wolf was reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park, which has reinvigorated the mice, fox, and rivers.