The wolf has been one the most maligned and hated creatures since the beginning of time. A potential competitor in our ecosphere, the wolf is viewed as a bloodthirsty, vicious killer who wipes out herds of cattle and sheep, and consumes small children.
In reality, of course, these beliefs couldn't be further from the truth. Not only do wolves fit NONE of the popular stereotypes, but their gentle temperament and sophisticated social structuring merit our admiration.
There is no documentation of even a single wild, healthy wolf attacking man on the North American continent. A wolf will only resort to preying on domestic stock when it's natural prey (moose, caribou, and deer) have been eliminated from their natural range. Wolves serve a great ecological role in the wild: By preying mostly on the weak and/or diseased animals in the herd, the younger healthier animals become the breeding stock, which ultimately produce much stronger herds. By this method, the herds are also kept reasonably steady in numbers.
In fact, studies have shown that after the re-introduction of the Red Wolf into some of it's former habitat, instead of reducing the harvest of deer, as was feared by some hunters, the deer harvest in these areas has not been affected at all.
The pack is the strongest social group known to humans, and in fact matches what anthropologists propose was human behavior prior to the advent of civilization, and indeed mirrors human social microcosims yet today. For more on the wolf and his relationship with humans, refer to my brief paper located -Click here-. (This is a very lightweight version of an article I've been working on for a while now).
Thursday, April 24, 2003. My daughter's birthday present. It was a cool, mostly cloudy day as we prepared to go on a trip to Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, a Wolf Rescue Sancuary, located in Lucerne Valley, just north of the San Bernardino Mountains, and Big Bear Lake, California.
After a drive that took us into the fog through Cahon Pass, we dropped into clear skies in Apple Valley. The wolf preserve is located on a dirt road, just a bit off of the main highway.
After viewing a video about the re-introduction of Red Wolves to some of their former range, a wolf sub-species rescued from the verge of extinction, we went out to meet the wolves. Tonya, our hostess for the afternoon, took us out to the wolves.
In small groups, we met with 8 wolves altogether, 2 groups of adults, then we went in to see the 3 'teenagers', who had been born there and were now a year or so old. The adults were full of confidance, willing to meet and socialize with us, but fully themselves, granting us the privelidge to meet with them. The teenagers, were typical of kids, cooprative, but with an ornery streak.
A really wonderful visit, and we ran out of film before it was done! We plan to return.
May 2, 2003