Despite many different children’s stories, wolves do not live in the jungle. The territory there is too humid and dense for them, as they prefer colder and more open habitats such as grasslands, tundras, forests, deserts, mountains, and other remote areas.
Originally, wolves were found all across Europe, Asia, North America, and parts of Africa. But because of people intentionally killing wolf populations due to predation of livestock, the wolf population has shrunk and is today limited to remote areas of the world where there is no human population.
Perhaps you’ve read The Jungle Book or watched the movies and you thought that it’s possible for wolves to live in a jungle. However, this is not true; in reality, wolves prefer other habitats and would not like to live in a jungle because it’s too dense and humid for them, and it’s too populated.
Why Wolves Don’t Live in a Jungle?
Wolves wouldn’t be able to survive in a jungle because of various reasons:
- It’s too humid for them, as wolves prefer drier areas as well as more remote areas where they can hunt out in the open.
- A jungle is too dense and too populated. They would not be able to hunt down their prey in enclosed areas with a lot of hiding spots and trees, as well as watery areas. Wolves are not great climbers, and they’re not agile enough to overcome some common obstacles found in a jungle.
- They would have plenty of other potential aggressors in the jungle. Tigers, lions, and other wild cats are all potentially dangerous for wolves, and they wouldn’t have enough living space, especially when they want to live and travel in packs. Wolves like to travel several miles per day, and that just wouldn’t be possible in a jungle.
A wolf’s natural dispositions make it impossible for it to survive in the jungle. It has thick fur and they’re not very agile when it comes to climbing. They’re also not very good swimmers, and there are a lot of watery areas in a jungle such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and smaller streams.
Even though the food is plentiful in a jungle, a wolf isn’t made to survive in such a habitat.
What is a Jungle and What Animals Live There?
A jungle is a dense and overgrown area with a lot of vegetation, trees, and animal species. It’s a humid environment that gets a lot of rain, so smaller lakes and ponds are scattered all across the jungle.
The term jungle often gets swapped with rainforest, although the two terms are slightly different. A jungle is much thicker and dense, and it has lower trees and vegetation, while a rainforest has some higher trees mixed it, so it’s a bit more open.
This gives various animal species the perfect living conditions to survive there, such as:
- Wild cats such as jaguars and tigers
- Other mammals and rodents
As you can see, the competition for survival is very fierce in a jungle. A wolf would be able to still fend off the competition, but a jungle just isn’t the preferred habitat for a wolf. It has thick fur, which means it would struggle with the humidity and the warm habitat, and it wouldn’t be able to move around as effectively as in other habitats.
Where Do Wolves Live?
So wolves don’t live in a jungle – where do they live, then?
Wolves are present in a wide variety of other habitats across Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa, such as higher areas of at least 3000m (9800ft), mountains, forests, Arctic grasslands and tundras, wetlands, shrublands, deserts, and other open areas, including some rural, suburban areas (although rarely).
As you may see, wolves will do better in open, slightly colder areas where they have plenty of space to roam around. They also like open grounds because they’re able to use their strong legs to outrun their prey and survive that way.
The gray wolf is the most common subspecies of wolves, and it prefers slightly colder areas across Europe and North America. It’s very versatile and adaptable, as it’s able to survive in a variety of habitats, including forests, mountains, and colder grasslands.
The red wolf is critically endangered and less common than the gray wolf. This type of wolf used to live in slightly warmer areas such as deserts and open plains of Texas, Africa, Asia, and even Central and South America. Today though, the red wolf can only be found in some habitats in the world, including North Carolina.
My Verdict: It’s a Myth from ‘The Jungle Book’
The Jungle Book is a collection of fictional stories that were initially written by Rudyard Kipling, and there have been many movies and TV shows made after it, including the movies from both 1967 and 2016.
In The Jungle Book storyline, there are wolves present in the jungle, which means that people believe that wolves live in the jungle. However, this is not true.
In the book, the story revolves around the feral boy called Mowgli, which is raised in the jungle by a pack of wolves. The wolves take almost a human-like character in the story, as they try to protect the boy from other animals and attacks, especially from the tiger called Shere Khan.
The main wolf protagonist in the book is Akela, who is the leader of the Seonee pack of Indian wolves, and it takes care of Mowgli. It’s depicted as a strong and cunning leader with human-like abilities.
All this led many people to believe that wolves live in the jungle, although in real life, that is not true.
Wolves don’t live in the jungle in real life, and they’re only present in that habitat in the story of The Jungle Book. Although it is a heartwarming story, the reality is that wolves prefer other habitats such as open grasslands, tundras, mountainous areas, and even deserts all across Europe, Asia, and North America.