Due to the high-dimensional characteristics of dataset, we propose a new method based on the Wolf Search Algorithm (WSA) for optimising the feature selection problem. The proposed approach uses the natural strategy established by Charles Darwin; that is, ‘ It is not the strongest of the species that survives, but the most adaptable’. This means that in the evolution of a swarm, the elitists are motivated to quickly obtain more and better resources. The memory function helps the proposed method to avoid repeat searches for the worst position in order to enhance the effectiveness of the search, while the binary strategy simplifies the feature selection problem into a similar problem of function optimisation. Furthermore, the wrapper strategy gathers these strengthened wolves with the classifier of extreme learning machine to find a sub-dataset with a reasonable number of features that offers the maximum correctness of global classification models. The experimental results from the six public high-dimensional bioinformatics datasets tested demonstrate that the proposed method can best some of the conventional feature selection methods up to 29% in classification accuracy, and outperform previous WSAs by up to 99.81% in computational time.