By Gerry Ellen
As of 2015 there continues to be enormous amounts of questions revolving around the barbaric practices of wolf hunts in many states, as well as the overall delisting of the majestic predator from the Endangered Species Act.
Just when we surmise that their presence in our lives is essential, another ignorant governing body chooses to act irrationally and without kind intent towards the great and elusive beast.
Wolves are not bad, never were and never will be.
They are our lifeblood, our source for everything from the forests to the rivers, and all other species in between that thrive on their behavioral instincts.
I will always have lots of questions regarding the mindset of our society hell bent on pursuing elimination of the wolf. Humans know better. The minute any new legislation passes within certain states who allow organized wolf hunts, it’s a veritable free-for-all to rack up as many kills as the previous year. How is this protecting the worldwide species of wolves?
Passions run deep with these beings.
It was long ago that the great scientist and conservationist, Aldo Leopold, suggested that gazing into the eyes of the wolf was like looking into our own souls.
Farley Mowat, another author and renowned environmentalist, documented his wolf encounters that not only surprised and delighted him (and something he was not prepared for), yet completely changed his mind-set about the beloved wolf. He observed them day in and day out, months on end, tossing all expectations aside and allowed the wolves to be part of his life. This led to his bestselling novel Never Cry Wolf.
Most recently, Jim and Jamie Dutcher, who spent over six years filming their lives with the awe-inspiring wolf, completed a documentary entitled Wolves at Our Door, which has blown open the theory of the big bad wolf. The film has shown that wolves are just as sociable, loyal, committed, family-oriented and loving as humans. The Dutchers obtained a permit to set up a 25-acre wolf observatory in the Sawtooth mountains of Idaho.
It was during their breathtaking experience they captured every essence of the wolf and its behavior. Jim and Jamie Dutcher were able to be part of the experience: from pup-rearing to family bonding and lessons, to moment-by-moment behaviors of wolves eating, visiting, cajoling, teaching, and basically living their lives. As the wolves continued to grow up and become more of a pack, the Dutchers were invited into their lives.
These special documentaries show us how the magnificent iconic creature is part of our history, as well as the ongoing debate about whether they deserve to live in the presence of our lands. Cattle and sheep ranchers will always disagree, and until there can be some sane and humane practice of cohabitation, the debates will continue.
So now what?
The harmonious living of wolves and humans can happen, we just have to educate ourselves on the importance of their survival (as well as every other species in existence), and allow them to roam and mate and hunt, and be who they are. It is also an interesting conundrum for us humans.
We place far too many expectations on our lives, constantly vying for top dog position, busying ourselves so much that we forget what is important.
The wolves have the simple life mastered.
Their hunting, mating, loving, sociable and respectful natures far outweigh anything we humans can fathom. Only those scientists, naturalists, environmentalist, and wolf conservationists who actually spend their every waking hour with the wolf, understands the nature of the species and how it relates to the common dog, as well as our own.
If we can accept and compromise the many facets of wolf behavior in the wild we might be able to save those under constant scrutiny.
The Mexican gray wolf, for example, is one of the most sought after and threatened of the species at present time. Only 83 are currently living in the wild, and around 300 in captive breeding programs.
“El lobo,” as it is referred to in the southwest, is under some heavy restoration and rehabilitation due to it being the rarest of the subspecies of the North American gray wolf.
They were almost all but eliminated in portions of the southwest (Arizona and New Mexico, specifically), but due to some extreme conservation measures their howl can once again be heard throughout the canyons and vast lands of these areas.
The wolf journey is not over, nor may never be.
If we have Super Bowl commercial ads depicting the wolf as a mean and killing machine, the efforts of those who continue to defend the wolves’ rights to be here might persuade the public to always view the wolf as something of a predator who needs to go. This gets my blood boiling, as does so many who love the wolf and want to see it thrive.
Wolves are a beautiful essential spirit, an animal totem in native circles, a teacher, a lover, a wise soul, a giver to humanity, and role models for us in every sense of the word. This is one strong case where acceptance is the kindest and most useful human condition we can elicit for this grand animal.
Gerry Ellen is an author, freelance writer, and all-around creative soul. She enjoys sharing her experiences of life, love, and all things meaningful and healthy through words and images. Besides being a regular contributor to Meet Mindful, Be You Media Group, and Rebelle Society, she has been featured on elephant journal and Light Workers World. Gerry Ellen considers her love of nature and the outdoors, heart-centered connections, friends and family, and traveling to explore and expand as the epicenter of her world. It gives her the biggest smile, as she is finding more aliveness in her second half of life. She has written two books, Ripple Effects (March 2012) and A Big Piece of Driftwood (April 2014). Both are available on amazon.com.
Editor: Jes Wright