Beat it, beaver: Grey wolf wins Canada's Greatest Animal contest

After a ferocious seven-week contest, the grey wolf has finally come out on top and been officially crowned Canada's Greatest Animal — by the Calgary Zoo.

National rodent a close second in the Calgary Zoo's 7-week online contest

More than 11,000 ballots were cast in the Calgary Zoo's Canada's Greatest Animal Contest. The grey wolf proved to be the alpha with more than 3,000 votes. The beaver came in second with 2,500 votes. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Associated Press)

After a ferocious seven-week contest, the grey wolf has finally risen to the top to claim the crown of Canada's Greatest Animal.

There will be no official coronation, however, the designation is the culmination of a contest put on by the Calgary Zoo in honour of Canada's 150th birthday.

More than 11,000 ballots were cast in the campaign, the zoo said in a release. 

The grey wolf faced fierce competition, but ultimately it beat out fellow Canadian animal icons like the grizzly bear, bison, whooping crane, Rocky Mountain goat, great grey owl and, obviously, the beaver.

The wolf took 26 per cent of the ballots cast and beat out its buck-toothed rival by around 500 votes.

Species at risk

"Since we launched this campaign on March 23, another 11 species have been added to Canada's list of endangered species," said Lindsey Galloway, senior director of the zoo, in a news release.

"What this says to us is that even though the fun campaign is over, our important conservation work is more crucial than ever."

According to the zoo, there are currently 532 species at risk under Canada's Species at Risk Act, 66 of those range in Alberta. Twelve of those species are only found in Alberta.