Watch Wolf Howl at Sky in Epic Footage: 'As Wild As They Come'

A wolf has been filmed howling at the night sky in epic footage captured by researchers at the University of Minnesota.

The video was taken in the summer of 2021 by a camera trap set up by the university-run Voyageurs Wolf Project, which monitors the wolf packs in the Voyageurs National Park. In a Facebook post, the project said the wolf howl is "as wild as they come."

The video shows a breeding male—from a wolf pack known as the Half-Moon pack—stop right in front of the camera and howl at the sky. After howling for a few seconds, the wolf then turns around and howls in the other direction. After howling for another few seconds, the wolf lies down and takes a nap.

Wolves are nocturnal predators, meaning they are often active at nighttime, but they howl at all times of day. It is a myth they only howl during a full moon.

According to National Geographic, this myth may stem from ancient people who probably ventured out more often when there was a full moon because of the light it gave off—perhaps these people were more aware of wolves during this time.

Wolves howl mainly to communicate with each other, especially across long distances. The howl of a wolf can tell others of its location, as well as providing information on prey and warnings that predators are nearby.

But wolves may howl for more reasons than scientists currently understand. For example, some packs have daily howling 'choruses,' which could be a way of strengthening their bonds with each other.

"Talk about the right place at the right time," the Voyageurs Wolf Project said on Facebook. "Not sure what we enjoyed more: hearing a few howls or watching [the male] struggle to keep his eyes open before eventually dozing off!"

The Voyagers Wolf Project tracks the wolves throughout the summer in order to better understand their behavior. It is not always certain that camera traps will be successful as they are often set up in remote areas.

The Half-Moon Pack roams a western territory of the Voyageurs National Park. The pack had the largest litter of any pack last year with eight pups—the largest litter ever recorded by the project was nine. This does not mean they are all still alive however. It is common for pups to die within their first year from disease, poaching and predation from other wolves.

There are between 30 and 50 wolves living in Voyageurs National Park, split between six to nine packs.

Wolf howling
A stock photo shows a wolf howling. They do this to communicate with others. Jupiterimages/Getty Images