Reindeer vs. Wolf: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Large deer species known as reindeer, or caribou, are found mostly in the northern regions of Greenland, Russia, North America, and other parts of Western Europe. Wolves usually have to take down these animals in packs. That begs the question of whether one wolf could accomplish such a thing. Find out who would have a higher chance of surviving a fight between wolves and reindeer, then find out who won.

What Are the Three Main Distinctions Between a Wolf and a Reindeer?

Wolves and reindeer are very different in terms of size, diet, and fighting prowess. Compared to wolves, adult reindeer can weigh up to 700 pounds and reach heights of up to 5 feet, while wolves can only reach heights of 3 feet and weigh up to 160 pounds. Predators like wolves frequently hunt in packs, wearing out their targets with protracted, relentless attacks. In the meantime, as they are herbivores, deer may attempt to kick or gore anything that threatens them.

Though they are not the only things that matter, these differences are crucial to the fight.

What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between a Reindeer and a Wolf?

In order to comprehend the result of a one-on-one conflict, we need to draw various comparisons between wolves and reindeer. This section will evaluate the two creatures in this instance based on five important factors: size, speed, predation, defenses, and offenses. Following our comparison of the two creatures, we will determine which one is superior in a number of areas. Using this information, we will determine which animal would prevail in a one-on-one match in our concluding section.

Wolf vs. Reindeer: Size

Our reference wolf species for wolf statistics is the gray wolf, which normally weighs 80–160 pounds, measures 4–7 feet from snout to tail, and stands 2–3 feet tall. In contrast, reindeer have a maximum weight of 700 pounds, a maximum length of 7 feet, and a maximum height of 5 feet.

Due to their greater size than wolves, reindeer have the upper hand in this aspect of the battle.

Wolf vs. Reindeer: Speed

The typical reindeer moves rather quickly. They have a speed range of 37 to 50 miles per hour. While they are not quite as quick as wolves, they are also not very slow. They can run at speeds of 30 to 40 mph, with occasional short-distance runs up to 45 mph. Wolves possess exceptional endurance, which they employ to exhaust their targets during attacks.

In this fight, reindeer have the advantage in speed.

Wolf vs. Reindeer: Defenses

While wolves and reindeer live in packs, we will ignore them in the interest of this battle. We are concentrating on personal defenses instead.

Though it’s nothing exceptional, wolves’ thick fur can offer some protection from certain impacts and bites. During hunting, they rely on their exceptional speed, agility, and stamina to keep themselves safe. Wolves also possess extraordinary senses that enable them to detect the presence of other potentially dangerous creatures and flee before a dangerous situation arises.

Because of their size alone, reindeer are strong, massive animals that are difficult for lone animals to subdue. When fully grown and in good health, they can also move quickly, which helps them avoid some predators’ initial attacks, such as those made by wolves. That usually suffices to spare a reindeer from being attacked by wolves that target the weaker, slower members of the herd. However, there isn’t one in this instance.

The primary defense of the reindeer in this fight is their enormous size, giving them a defensive advantage.

Wolf vs. Reindeer: Offensive Strengths

When hunting, wolves only have one weapon—their formidable bite. Although it can reach 1,000 psi, wolves’ measured bite force is only 400 psi. With a maximum length of 2.5 inches, its canine teeth may rip and deeply puncture the flesh of their prey.

However, reindeer are not defenseless. Antler growth gives reindeer, both male and female, a formidable defense against intruders. While deterring potential predators from attacking their heads, reindeer can utilize them to gore their attackers. When a predator approaches too closely, they can also stomp and kick, but they usually use their legs to get away first.

The advantage belongs to Wolves’ offensive prowess.

Wolf versus. Reindeer: Predatory Conduct

Since reindeer are herbivores, they are not naturally inclined to hunt. Wolves, on the other hand, hunt in packs and strike their victim in the flanks and back as they run. Wolves are cursorial hunters. When their victim can no longer run, the wolf will eventually attack other critical regions, such as the neck.

When it comes to predatory behavior, wolves are superior.

If a wolf and a reindeer faced off in combat, who would prevail?

The odds are in favor of the lone wolf in a fight against the reindeer, rather than the other way around. There are a few reports of wolves attacking and killing reindeer on their own, even though it’s uncommon for them to take the chance of hunting such a large animal by themselves. One set of photos, at the very least, depicts a reindeer killing a wolf but not before it dies.

Putting all of that knowledge aside, we also need to keep in mind that, despite the wolf’s explicit desire, a reindeer’s natural tendency will be to run away from a predator. When the wolf manages to send the reindeer running, it will attack nonstop, draining its energy until it deals enough damage to prevail. The reindeer would prevail by running away, even if the wolf doesn’t actually bring it down.

If the reindeer chooses to fight and hold its ground, it becomes much more difficult to call the fight. To prevent the deer from giving the wolf a clean kick or goring it with its antlers, the wolf must stay mobile and keep attacking from all angles. But that’s precisely the kind of attack that wolves may launch. Nevertheless, the wolf may be killed or rendered impotent with a single kick or a well-aimed antler strike.

In light of what we’ve covered here, the wolf has the slight advantage in a battle. To take down a reindeer on its own, the wolf would need to be both quite talented and quite desperate.

Highlights of Reindeer and a Wolf Comparison:

  Reindeer Wolf
Size Weight: 130 to 700 pounds
Length: 5 to 7 feet
Height: 2.8 to 5 feet tall
Weight: 80 to 160 pounds
Length: between 4 and 7 feet
Height: from 2 to 3 feet
Speed – Up to 50 mph – 30 to 40 mph
Defenses – Typically live in herds that offer some protection against attacks
– Their large bodies make them tough to bring down
– Reindeer have speed to get away from some trouble or initially make them hard to catch
– Wolves have thick fur to help lessen blows
– Has the speed and agility to dodge enemies
– Uses its strong senses to avoid troublesome situations
Offensive Capabilities – Can deliver a powerful kick or stomp
– Both sexes grow antlers that can severely injure attackers
– Has teeth measuring up to 2.5 inches long
– Has bite force of 400 psi helps the wolf deal significant wounds – Fantastic stamina that helps them wear down their prey
Predatory Behavior – None, they will flee before attempting to fight back – They hunt prey using a cursorial method, chasing down prey in a group and wearing them down with repeated attacks from multiple directions
– May attack from the rear and flanks to cause massive blood loss or go for the throat