Namaste' fellow earth aliens! That time of year Again, wow!...where does it go. ? Recently my wolf article was placed in the WRSOS's newsletter, however it was shortened due to length restrictions and the sensitivity of the subject is understandable. SO I am going to place the article in it's entirty on my blog for you all to read if yee like. I hope this finds everyone full of life, humbleness, with a touch of wild! Hey you gotta spark and stand apart from the lemmings once in awhile
Eco Soul Journey is growing like the lil bad weed she is, she is currently living with dharma and legend and having a ball romping around in the very deep snow we have up here. Legend and Dharma treat Eco like their puppy, it is quite hilarious to see whenever the adults get into a disagreement/spat how Eco goes into clown puppy mode, to break up the tension between the adults. You can see updated pics taken of her right up till first snow fall here on her page http://www.wolfechovalley.com/eco.html
but here is a few to tease you with. She was born the beginning of May o7' and is an arctic wolf
. The following as a disclaimer is MY opinion (you know what they say about those right? ) based on my own expertise having lived with and studied both wild and captive wolves for many years. I do not sugarcoat this type of animal, but neither do I subscribe to the antichrist theories. I do offer my sincere sympathies to Kentons family and friends, as well as prayers for any wild animals adversely affected by this tragedy.
Little Red Riding Hoods Posse' Misunderstood
If one is not 100% honest with who they are in working with captive wildlife, the animals themselves will FORCE you to GET honest VERY quickly.
When the word wolf is mentioned, many images and comments may be evoked, and spoken depending on the person asked. Some may say a ruthless predator, built only to kill without feeling, or thought. Tales have been told round the campfire of night stalkers just waiting for their opportunity to grab a loved one away, generation after generation of child going to bed having been told tales of Peter and the Wolf, and little Red Riding Hood, two of the best known wolf stories. This instills fear in the young’s mind before they are even given an opportunity to understand, and learn what this amazing creature is truly all about, and what they are not.
It seems some may either demonize this creature, or sugar coat what they are. Neither mentality helps the REAL wolf
Although my captive wolves have never known the wild, a wolf is still a wolf, captivity does not change that. They are not dogs. I feel I can offer some insight and professional opinion on the Points Landing incident. I am sure I will say some thing that some will disagree with, but then again should I expect anything different from people that have never actually lived with wolves, AND worked on behalf of the wild wolf in a completely unbias was.
I have observed not only captive wolf behavior for years, but also wild wolf behavior through my own intimate encounters with them on my many outdoor excursions into the wild. (All good encounters.) I have witnessed wolves fondness with each other as family members, how strongly bonded they are to each other, I have watched them play and test each other, I have watched how they work together to survive. I have also seen when another member of their family dies how they also mourn.
Since the beginning of time people have killed other people for nothing other than greed, anger, passion and a host of other reasons. Is the entire human race to be anhilated due to the conscious and unfathomable act of some other human? There have been quite a few maulings/killings of humans by bears over the years, astronomically so compared to ANY wolf attack, so are all the bears to pay the price and be exterminated?
Wolves are what they are, they are surviving or trying to, like any other sentient being. The difference between them, and *us* as a species of animal, is that they do not commit vicious acts based on any ego emotions. When a wild animal deviates from it's known natural behaviors there are always reasons as to *why*
I do not have a child as yet but I can say this with 100% unbias honesty if I did, and they were attacked and killed by *any wild* animal while outdoors, I would NOT and I cannot even stress that word enough, want the species as a whole to be persecuted, period. How I view life is from a perspective of COMPLETE utter respect and honor to *life*. These are MY beliefs. I would be THE first person to stand up publically to urge the public to not be fearful, to not go after such an animal either, for they be what they simply be.
I often have people contact me about wild animals they may find that are injured or they appear weak (lack of food sources, especially true during our long cold winters) and they proceed to tell me they have been feeding the local wildlife, that even foxes and coyotes have been coming right into their yard sites, and practically eating out of their hands. Although I understand another’s need to feel connected to wildlife, and assist it if it appears in distress, (I even have people tell me how proud they are, they were able to save a life, ) what they don’t realize is that often times that need and that pull we feel to help, without the proper knowledge on how to do so, can make a bad situation worse. I wish to encourage people getting involved and becoming wildlife and eco warriors, but there are right and wrong ways to accomplish this. Not to mention safer for both human and wild animal.
If you come upon injured wildlife please call the local fish and wildlife branch, or wrsos http://www.wrsos.org/ or contact me and I will put you in contact with the right people to help. My main site is www.wolfechovalley.com
This creates new generations (offspring) of wild animals being taught the same thing, after awhile the wild animal(s) begin to lose their fear, coupled with the association of us with food, and this can become potentially dangerous. Typically and sadly the wild animals will be the true ones to suffer in the end as they are shot for causing conflict. Wild animals even those whom appear to be friendly, and docile as they come to eat out of your hands, are still*wild, * and intact with all that makes them what they are… wild, not tame animals or pets. There are many places throughout the province where dumpsites are not protected from wild animal infiltration. I had a family one day while up on one of my own wild excursions, stop and ask me where the dumpsite was that bears could be seen feeding out in the open (in OUR Province.) This is appalling!
It is not good enough to simply put up a fence around areas where wildlife is unwanted, wolves are MASTER diggers and jumpers (wolves can leap straight up into the air 8 feet high from a complete stand still! picture tigger from winnie the pooh) So the fencing that goes up around a dumpsite requires dig proofing (fencing) of at least four feet into the ground (can use concrete,) and if possible using hotwire.
The inquest should not have been about who done it, and the mass hysteria that followed, Instead the focus should be about education, that when we are in wild country to always be alert and aware of every single sight, smell and thing we hear, many lose their guard when out in nature. What happened to Kenton should not be about wolf or bear but about how to stay safe period, from ALL the wild potential dangers including wolves, and not be lulled into any false sense of security when out in such a beautiful country. For within the beauty lies reality at it's perfection, and at it's darkness and potential dangers.
I don’t want what happened to Kenton to leave a legacy of fear, or terror of being out in the woods, I feel there are lessons to all stories, including the tragic ones, but we must remain completely open and honest in order to see them accurately, and without any self-created tunnel vision.
Wolves are in general very shy, yet curious animals. Like most wild animals wolves typically try to avoid coming in contact with humans. Whenever a wild animal starts to lose its fear of people however through habituation they may be more prone to approach humans, human homes, and camping spots. Wolves that are fed by humans either directly, or indirectly through tossing garbage around areas humans frequent, they are habituating the animals, and the wolves will then associate food with people. This may precipitate an attack on humans, by an otherwise naturally shy creature.
I live in the country, literally in the middle of a very large forest where bear, wild wolves, and other large predators cross through on natural routes. Whenever I am out in the bush I am always aware of everything around me at all times, I use my ears, eyes, and even smell.
The following are a few tips to help avoid such situations from happening.
1) PLEASE do NOT litter! Throw all garbage into cans with secure lids. Growing up one of my favorite characters on T.V was an Owl and his slogan of "Give A Hoot Don't Pollute!"
2) Do NOT feed wild wolves or any other wild animals, even feeding deer can attract wild wolves to your home, as the wolves will follow their prey (food). Many people are not aware that even wild fox can become extremely aggressive if fed people food, quite a few fox in our National Park get relocated due to getting TOO familiar with human food.
3) Leave no pet food outside!!! I hear MANY stories by other ranching neighbors how they had to shoot a raccoon due to it getting into the cat and dog food that was left out, that the animal had become aggressive. This is unfair; it is almost like setting animals up and taunting them to take the pet food.
4) Do not allow pets (cats or dogs) to be unattended while outdoors, they are easy prey for wild wolves. If you are not with your dog keep them in a secure pen where they cannot escape to harass wildlife, or draw wildlife like wild wolves and bears to your doorstep. There are many acreage dogs and cats that go missing around here, due to them being allowed to roam freely.
5) Install motion sensor lights, it may act as a deterrent to scare any wild animals away.
I have done a ton of camping over the years; these were all tips we used as a mantra when in the great outdoors. I learned the following rules from the time I was a young child.
- Place any garbage in bear sealed containers, do not have food lying around your campsite and NEVER in your tent. MANY campsites up north here provide not only bear sealed containers, but also platforms built up in the trees, a ladder is provided for campers to use to climb up onto the platform to place sealed containers. Then one simply moves the ladder away when not needed on site, or when walking away from camp for a while.
- Cook, wash dishes and store any food items away from your sleeping quarters
Suspend any food items, toiletries like toothpaste, and shampoos,and any garbage in camping bags with attached ropes to hang out high from tree branches. Wolves can leap 8 feet straight up into the air so I recommend the bags suspended quite high.
- If bringing your dog(s) along camping, but be sure to keep pets close at all times, do NOT allow pets to roam around free unleashed. Wolves are territorial creatures and will kill any dogs they come across, especially if harassed. The dog may also lead any angry wolves straight back to you and your tent.
- When out on a trek, we have always clapped our hands saying something along the lines of "hear bear bear bear" *for noise* we also will bang sticks, or just chat to alert any animals we are in the area. There are also bear bells one can ring when out walking, or place on bikes when riding to help alert any wildlife.
- Always be aware of your surroundings when out in nature, look for signs of bears *scat, clawed up (marked) trees and logs, animal prints, various animal sounds. The photo I took below while on an excursion shows various prints including bear recently being there.. Listen, Look, and BE AWARE at all times, have fun but keep in mind you are in someone else' backyard, and it is a wild one. AWA recommends buying some track/signs of wild animal books, to accompany you on any outdoor excursion.
- Photographers, If you are out to try and capture the beauty of wild animals through the lenses, please keep in mind to follow *wild wisdom* rules, keep your distance from ANY wild animal, do not chase after, or try and get a CLOSER shot. Wild animals whom feel threatened, may suddenly decide you are infringing on their territory and react out of fear, which can readily turn to fear aggression, resulting in an attack. Depending on the time of year (breeding season) wild animals go through a natural form of seasonal aggression, this can make already a potentially dangerous wild animal even MORE so. What we may view as an appreciation of nature and wildlife through trying to photograph them, and or view them in their natural habitat, could easily result in unintentioned harassment to the animals. Please respect all wildlife by observing such, on THEIR terms.
- Avoid wearing and washing/conditiong your hair with sweet smelling scents, women especially love to smell *fruity* but bears have amazing sniffers and may sniff YOU out!
- Be Aware when you eat something not to leave behind remnants of that meal, or any packaging from that food. Smells of food (even from a wrapper) can draw in a variety of wild animals, which is another good reason to not eat on the go. Some people like to hike and munch granola bars at the same time, you are leaving behind crumbs as you eat and walk much like hansel and gretel, which could entice an animal to follow your tracks!
(Pic taken by Sky on an outdoor adventure. Note there are recent bear tracks)
How Can I Help The Wild Wolf?
There are various ways human beings can help protect the future well-being and survival of wild wolves. Play YOUR part in the wild wisdom!
1) Educational Talk: Talk about wolves at your school, and encourage others to learn more. Better yet if there is a wolf facility in your Province tell you teacher and friends about them. Maybe a professional wolf educator can come to your school to give a talk. There are even some places that bring in a socialized live wolf! Talk about a real interactive report! What about choosing the wolf as your wild animal of choice when it comes to writing your next book report.
2) Organize a Fundraiser: Donate the proceeds made to a wolf facility that teaches the public about wolves. This could be as simple as selling lemonade, bake sale, bingo night or camp out at your school. Get inventive. Get involved.
3) Listen To And Be Aware Of: news reports concerning wildlife and environmental issues. Be pro-active and contact the locals new stations and news papers yourself to request what you would like to see talked about.
4) Become a member/supporter of an environmental organization: That helps to promote and foster wild wolf education/protection/conserving habitat the following are excellent.
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
The Sierra Club
The Rain Coast Conservation Foundation
David Suzuki Foundation
Defenders Of Wildlife
Canadian Wildlife Federation
World Wildlife Fund
5) The 3 R’s: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. The more humans put into practice these three very important R ‘s, the less we use up the earths dwindling resources. This is good for all on the planet, including wildlife and their homes (habitats.)
6) Preserve Wild Lands: That wolves require to survive, or support organization that do such as WWF. As more trees are cut down, for various reasons, more wolves and other wild things get chased out and lose their homes (displaced) If you are the owner of some wild land or know someone who is, and wish to always keep it safe, perhaps consider contacting a preservation trust to have a conservation easement placed on the land, so that even long after the land is no longer in your stewardship, no one can log or destroy it. Some suggestions are:
The following In Saskatchewan:
Ducks Unlimited Canada 1-306-569-0424
Home Place Conservancy of Saskatchewan Inc. 1–306- 586-9268
Meewasin Valley Authority 1-306-665-6887
Nature Conservancy of Canada 1-866-622-7275
Nature Saskatchewan 1-306-780-9273
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation 1-306-691-2854
Saskatchewan Archeological Society 1-306-664-4124
Sask. Environment 1-306-787-2314
Sask. Parks and Recreation Association 1-306-780-9262
Saskatchewan Wetland Conservation Corporation 1-306-787-0726
Sask. Wildlife Federation 1-306-692-8812
Wakamow Valley Authority 1-306-692-2717
7) Write letters and articles: There are various places one can write letters and send in articles to, such as nature magazines, local newspapers, and even online! Get inventive and creative.
8) Learn more about wolves and talk to others you know about wolves, and all you have learned. There are even wolf conferences held around the world to help keep anyone who is interested informed on the plight of the wild wolf. If there are any local wolf centers, support them and visit them, to learn up close and in person about these highly misunderstood animals.
9) Become a volunteer! Maybe there are some environmental or wildlife org’s you can volunteer for. Good place to start is with the local zoo, and with WRSOS.
10) Vote: When you are old enough to vote, vote for those who care about the environment / habitat and wildlife protection.
11) Ecological Footprint: Be aware and responsible for your choices on a daily basis, and how these choices may impact the environment for either the better or worse. Buy more raw foods in bulk to cut back on heavily and overly packaged smaller items. When shopping bring a collection of your own cloth shopping bags, to reduce the unnecessary wastage in the landfills plastic bags create. Ride your bike as much as possible. If living in the cit try using your bike to bike to work, or partnering up with a co-worker. Turn off lights, radios, and TV’s when not in use, take showers more often, and stop using the dishwasher. When out in nature please don’t litter, you are in someone else’s back yard please treat it with respect and leave only your own prints to tell a tale.