The Sad Song of the Wolf

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

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, right?

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.

Wolf print Yellowstone

Wolf print, Yellowstone

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.

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

Why 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.

wolfpaw

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

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

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Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

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.

wolf mountain sanctuary

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

Tugboat man is sitting next to me, but I had to crop him because he likes to remain anonymous.

wolf9

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

“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.

wolf8

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

Sniffing around where we had been seated.

wolf7

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

“Throughout the centuries we have projected on to the wolf the qualities we most despise and fear in ourselves.” Barry Lopez

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

“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

wolf6

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

Awesome Wolf Howling Compilation
http://youtu.be/op7fRsvWowA

A Man Among Wolves
http://youtu.be/j4vFBXOoHs0

wolf5

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

 


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.

whitehousewolf

It’s important to help out those wonderful humans who devote their lives to protecting wolves like Wolf Mountain Sanctuary and Dearborn Wolf Sanctuary.

 

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Saving Wolves

US-National-Parks-Yellowstone-Wolf-Quest-2-wolvesI wish that I could wave a magic wand and make the world a kinder place for animals; cats, dogs, cows, pigs, sheep, horses, whales, dolphins, elephants, animals used in laboratory experiments — you get the picture, right?

Animals are awesome.

Animals should have legal rights — they should be better protected and defended.

Everyone has issues they’re passionate about, and this is one of mine.

No animal needs our help more than wolves.

Wolves are being killed, slaughtered, mutilated, exterminated.

My tugboat man and I drove up to Sacramento so that I could testify at the Fish and Wildlife Service‘s wolf delisting hearing on November 22. He was there to make sure that I stayed out of jail. It’s kind of a joke but not really. Being around hunters and others who enjoy killing animals makes me so mad that you can almost see me explode with RAGE. The smoke-out-of-the-ears kind of rage. The kind of rage that has no filter. THAT kind of rage.

I’m sure that I’m one of the most skeptical people in the world when it comes to the reasons why our government is motivated to do ANYTHING, but this particular issue boggles my mind to a crazy degree.

This horrible and scientifically flawed idea that wolves are in a position to have recovered enough numbers to be formally removed from the Endangered Species List is what has driven thousands of Americans to protest, speak out, argue against it, and do whatever they can to continue to protect these beautiful creatures from certain extinction — again.

A hunter who kills a wolf belongs to a subsection — a microcosm —  of a human being whose sole purpose in life is the extermination of a species.

It’s scary, people. Really scary.

From what I understand, funded in part by the Koch Brothers’ smoke screen organization, American Prosperity Group, ranchers and hunters have declared an all-out war against the wolf — any wolf, Gray Wolf, Red Wolf or Mexican Wolf, coyotes, any and all predators that they incorrectly believe threaten THEIR skewed right to breed, grow, and eventually murder their own cattle and sheep.

Current research indicates other successful non-lethal options to protect their “investment” animals — living and breathing creatures whose sole existence is to breed and grow to one day be killed — yet another reason why we don’t eat meat.

What this potential delisting has helped to unleash is a group of sadistic hunters who are entrenched in zoosadism.

Zoosadism is a term used to refer to the pleasure that an individual gains from the cruelty to animals. SEXUAL PLEASURE. Zoosadism is getting sexually excited by causing harm to animals and is considered a form of animal abuse. Have you seen all those horrible photos on the internet? Zoosadists are true sociopaths.

At the hearing, one of the first speakers was Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem WintuTribe of American Indians near Mount Shasta. She received much deserved applause and shouts of support when she said that the wolf had long been a spiritual figure for her tribe.

“The wolf is our teacher,” she said, explaining that its extended pack relationships served as an example for human families. She compared the hunting of wolves out of fear to the killing of American Indians.

There were so many amazing speakers who spoke with intelligence, passion, dedication, and concern for the wolf.

Selfie cos hub takes horrible pics.

Selfie cos hub takes horrible pics.

WIth 500-600 attendees, and the knowledge that there was a videographer who recorded all the speeches as official government testimony, you’d think I would have been nervous, but I’ve always had plenty of public speaking confidence (some might call it chutzpah,) — especially with five-inch heels and a Chanel on my arm.

***TRANSCRIPT OF MY SPEECH***

“It is past time to take the words of Gandhi to heart: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Why is the term “delisting” synonymous with hunting, bloodsport, and the murder of a species?

Is this the only barbaric method “good science” has for “species management”?

Instead, let’s call it what it really is: government sanctioned murder.

De-listing really means that it’s OK to hunt, torture, and destroy species and is really just legalizes more brutality.

We cannot allow the current administration to give up on wolf recovery for the gray wolf OR the Mexican wolf or relinquish species survival to the states.

I’m from here in California where we have excellent habitat but no wolves and I absolutely do NOT support any (Fish and Wildlife Service’s) proposal to delist the gray wolf, a barely recovering endangered species that’s currently being slaughtered for political gain.

We need to manage wolves and other wildlife in a healthy and sustainable way so that future generations can enjoy the benefits of our rich wildlife heritage. However, management cannot mean the hunting and murder of a species.

That the irrational and enduring hostility to wolves still exists, and that hundreds of more wolves will be killed — is wrong and the cruel methods allowed for hunting and trapping wolves are deeply disturbing and sociopathic, egregious, and inhumane.

Our own life changing visit to Yellowstone in August fulfilled my     dream to see the wolves of Lamar Valley.

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.

Those same wolves are being murdered the instant they cross that invisible border out of the park. It’s absolutely insane.

WE hold the power to ensure that we’re not the last generation to view a wolf in nature; not confined in a zoo, or most importantly, not dead after being tortured and then displayed as a “trophy”.

The truth is that wolf recovery is far from over.

According to many leading scientists, we’ve entered into an era of mass extinction, which will not have run its course until biodiversity levels are less than twenty-five percent of what they are now.

I’m here to push back against this culture of extinction.

I’m here because of the legacy I want to leave behind for our children.

More than thirty years ago, I did my small part to advocate for the addition of wolves to the Endangered Species List.

I wrote letters and joined forces with groups dedicated to protecting the wolf from certain extinction and it’s shameful that we’re back to the beginning.

It appears that the last thirty years have culminated in the nurturing of this species’ growth for the single sacrificial purpose to provide animals for thrill killing hunter/murderers and that’s why continued protection is even more necessary.

Our collective legacy will not be celebrating wolf recovery, but rather their unnecessary deaths will become your ONLY legacy.

Do NOT delist the gray wolf. Outlaw all hunting of wolves.” 

Cleveland AmoryHunters should be hunted themselves, to prevent hunter overpopulation and to undo the effects of inbreeding.”

More pics of the Fish and Wildlife Hearing in Sacramento on November 22, 2013Wolf Hearing SacramentoHearing 2
Hearing 1