The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is the largest extant member of the dog family of mammals, the Canidae. The species was the world's most widely distributed mammal but has become extinct in much of Western Europe, in Mexico and much of the USA. Wolves occur primarily but not exclusively in wilderness and remote areas. Their original worldwide range has been reduced by about one-third by deliberate persecution due to depredation on livestock and fear of attacks on humans.
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