For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved wolves.
This little Jewish girl from Detroit dancing around in a pink tutu and satin toe shoes harbored a secret desire to live among the wolves and become accepted as a pack member.
Crazy because the only wolves I encountered in Detroit were the hormone-addled little boys at the Jewish Community Center.
“The gaze of the wolf reached into our soul.” Barry Lopez
It wasn’t until we moved to California and I was in college that I did anything about it.
Back in the 1970s, I joined the fight to save the wolf from extinction by advocating for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA),
In college, I studied predators and made plans to accompany research scientists and live with wolves in Minnesota and Michigan but never fulfilled that dream because I couldn’t (obviously) bring my dog, and I didn’t want to leave her.
Another dream unfulfilled. Oh, well.
When tugboat man took me on a trip I’d fantasized about my entire life and we camped and hiked in Yellowstone National Park, we were lucky enough to see several of the wolves who make up the Lamar Valley pack, but we never heard the song of the wolf, probably because we camped right on Slough Creek, and the water, while beautiful, drowned out most animal sounds.
I’m still involved in the never-ending fight to save, defend, and protect this magnificent animal; read about my experiences in Sacramento when I testified at the Fish and Wildlife Service‘s wolf delisting hearing: Saving Wolves.
From my testimony: “At 6:00 a.m., a few miles outside our camp at Slough Creek, we followed others to a bison carcass, and our efforts paid off with a multiple sighting of many wolves, including 755. There was an overwhelming sense of awe among the dozens of us who silently watched him cross the road and then a collective sigh of relief when he disappeared safely over the ridge.
Last weekend, we took a drive to the Mojave Desert town of Lucerne to spend a few hours at Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 1976 by Tonya Littlewolf.
Eleven wolves call this sanctuary home, and while I finally heard the haunting song of the wolf, the whole experience could only be described as sad.
Sad because these magnificent creatures NEED to be rescued.
Sad that humans think they have the right to try and make pets out of these wild animals. (Not gonna work.)
Sad that the wolves can’t roam free, sad they’re hunted, tortured, hated, vilified.
Wolves are among the most intelligent species.
HOW DARE WE DESTROY THEM.
So yes. Sad. Very sad.
From Wolf Mountain Sanctuary website…all volunteer educational organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and proper management of wolves in the wild and in captivity. We are a forever home for all of the wolves we rescue. We rescue wolves from the movie industry, private owners, and from breeders. The impression a 180 pound wolf leaves on you is everlasting. To look into their knowing, wise, amber colored eyes is a moving, spiritual experience. When you look into the eyes of a wolf, you see your soul…
“We have doomed the Wolf not for what it is, but for what we have deliberately and mistakenly perceived it to be..the mythologized epitome of a savage, ruthless killer..which is, in reality no more than a reflexed images of ourself.” Farley Mowat
Denali (Deh-Nah-Lee) (“Great One” or “Highest Mountain”) was one of two pups born in the wilds of Alaska. He was rescued from the wolf-killing that was taking place in that state, both by private citizens and government agencies.
He’s a beautiful wolf with a golden sand coat. Denali’s personality is very sweet, curious, and friendly.
Tugboat man fed him a biscuit and he took it from him in a gentle and almost dainty manner.
The wolves at Wolf Mountain Sanctuary are well cared for and healthy.
When I met this handsome guy, Holan, he immediately jumped up, put his front paws on my shoulders, and licked my face. See my joy? This is the smile of someone who loves wolves.
Tugboat man is sitting next to me, but I had to crop him because he likes to remain anonymous.
“The wolf is neither man’s competitor nor his enemy. He is a fellow creature with whom the earth must be shared.” L. David Mech
Look at him. The eyes. Amazing.
Sniffing around where we had been seated.
“Throughout the centuries we have projected on to the wolf the qualities we most despise and fear in ourselves.” Barry Lopez
“Inescapably, the realization was being borne in upon my preconditioned mind that the centuries-old and univerally accepted human concept of wolf character was a palpable lie. On three separate occasions in less than a week I had been completely at the mercy of these “savage killers”; but far from attempting to tear me limb from limb, they had displayed a restraint verging on contempt, even when I invaded their home and appeared to be posing a direct threat to the young pups.” Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf
Awesome Wolf Howling Compilation
A Man Among Wolves
From Wolf Mountain Sanctuary website:
WHY SAVE THE WOLF? Look at them: they are so noble, so beautiful. The wolf, as well as other endangered species, are ecological indicators. It is by studying these species and learning how to preserve them that we learn the main factors affecting our environment.
Perhaps in so doing, we will learn undiscovered ways to benefit mankind!
Unfortunately, there are those who deny the wolf’s place in the ecosystem. Wolves are gunned down from airplanes and snowmobiles (which some consider “sport”). Sometimes the fur is taken; however, more often than not, the animal is simply left to decay.
The wolf is poisoned “en masse,” trapped by leg-hold traps, used as adornments for the idle rich.
Today, the wolf’s range is limited to Alaska, Canada, the upper Midwest, and in Yellowstone National Park. Some of the YNP wolves have traveled into adjoining states, which allow hunters to kill wolves on sight and for little to no reason. In the 1930’s, there were approximately 50,000 wolves roaming the North American continent. By the 1940’s, that number had been decreased to 1,000. Today, mostly because of conservation efforts, there are approximately 3,000 wild wolves on the entire continent. They have made a small comeback, but because of the recent delisted from the Endangered Species Act, wolves are once again under attack.
Wolf lovers need to band together and do all we can to help them. TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
Only you can save the wolf from extinction. Proper management procedures must be put into action.
Won’t you join us in the wolf’s campaign? Please help the wolves any way you can: sign all petitions you can to stop the wholesale slaughter of wolves and donate to organizations focused on protecting the wolf!
And here’s something else we can do NOW.
It’s important to help out those wonderful humans who devote their lives to protecting wolves like Wolf Mountain Sanctuary and Dearborn Wolf Sanctuary.