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

wolf10

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.

 

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

When a Zygocactus Blooms, It’s a Sure Sign the Holidays are Coming!

Whether you call it Christmas Cactus or Zygocactus, it’s really a Schlumbergera hybrid.

Christmas Cactus1Today at Casa de Enchanted Seashells, we’re packing up to drive the eight hours it takes to get to Sacramento so I can testify at the Fish and Wildlife hearing  on Friday to protest the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species List.

I’m so happy (and relieved) that my tugboat man is going to be able to attend the hearing with me and I’m sure that he’s REALLY looking forward to keeping me out of jail.

FYI — Princess Rosebud and hunters do not mix. It’s a recipe for disaster. Cue the tugboat man, a voice of reason versus my ghetto mouth that has no impulse control!!

However and whatever…

I’ve got a new black suit, AMAZING heels, and a speech that I hope will make a difference, ‘cos that’s what it’s really all about.

While we’ve been getting ready, I noticed a magnificent plant blooming and crying out for attention.

My bright little pot loves to sit in our kitchen window for most of the year; when I see the red buds at the tips of the leaves, I know it won’t be long before the massive butterfly blooms emerge. 

(There’s an x-rated overt clitoral resemblance when the buds start to swell…just saying’.)

I love to say “zygocactus” like ten times in a row cos it feels so good as it rolls off the tongue, plus it’s really easy to grow!

You try it. It’s neat, huh?

zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus

Schlumbergera truncatus blooms closer to Thanksgiving while Schlumbergera bridgesii blooms closer to Christmas, but through hybridization there is a certain overlapping of blooming times.

This is the most intense pink; the flowers feel kind of waxy or fleshy.
Christmas Cactus

Schlumbergera are epiphytes (tree-dwelling) originating in the mountainous rainforests of Brazil.

It’s excellent as hanging basket plant on a sheltered patio, or can be brought indoors in a bright area with excellent airflow.

Think about how lovely a blooming plant will be as a gift to bring joy for many years.

I’ve had pretty good success propagating these beauties by snipping a cutting at the natural “joint”, letting it dry out for a couple days, and then planting in sandy soil, keeping it only slightly moist until roots appear.

Don’t make the same mistakes I did by letting it get too wet or it’ll rot and die.

The next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Sacramento, meeting other wolf advocates and giving my two cents worth to a panel of Fish and Wildlife members who have blood on their hands from the senseless deaths of hundreds of beautiful wolves.

However, they have yet to hear from Princess Rosebud.

On The Way To Yellowstone: Princess Rosebud And Her Tugboat Man

This summer, we embarked upon an Odyssean journey to fulfill my life’s dream of seeing the wolves of Yellowstone National Park.

It was an amazing ten days of a ife-changing, life-defining adventure, made bittersweet by the current slaughter of wolves in America.

Hub was the driver; I was the navigator, photographer, and keeper of a journal chronicling the three-thousand mile round trip.

We returned home and hardly had time to unpack and reminisce about what we saw and experienced when my merchant mariner got called back to work sooner than anticipated.

Such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife…

Photos of magnificent peaks near Zion National Park on the way through Nevada and Utah.

roadtrip2 roadtrip1 roadtrip3……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Stop Wolf Hunts Now

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Ghandi

Actress Jessica Lange is AMAZING: Her Letter In Defense of Wolves

Smart, beautiful, witty, AND an animal advocate.
Thank you, Jessica, for standing up to protect wolves.

jessica lange

September 25, 2013

The Honorable Mark Dayton

Governor of Minnesota

130 State Capitol

75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

St. Paul, MN 55155

Dear Governor Dayton:

Minnesota’s wolves have been on my mind. I first became concerned last year when I learned of the Minnesota DNR’s plan to hunt and trap these native and iconic animals. We both know the vast majority of Minnesotans’ views were not fairly represented in the legislation that authorized our state’s first regulated wolf hunting and trapping season. Nearly all Minnesotans believe the wolf is an asset that should be protected for future generations.

There are compelling reasons to think the wolf hunt was rushed by the legislature and the DNR to cater to particular groups, who for years had been clamoring for the chance to kill wolves. Despite widespread public opposition to a wolf hunt, and legitimate concerns about a hastily aborted management plan developed with significant public input, these groups got their way.

413 wolves were killed by hunters and trappers; not to protect public safety, not to control the population size, and not to reduce conflicts with people. It was for sport, for fun and for trophies. More than half the wolves killed were less than 2 years old and almost a third were less than 1 year old. They were not problem wolves; they were not in conflicts with people, livestock, or domestic animals. They were just wolves living wild and free in our north woods.

The recently announced 25% decline in the Minnesota wolf population should compel action. We haven’t had this few wolves in our state since 1988 and over this time period there has been a steady decline in pack size. Packs are family units made up of siblings and other relatives that support activities essential for survival, notably hunting and raising pups. We know that the random killing of non-problem wolves tears apart wolf families and diminishes their ability to survive and reproduce.

More than anything else, the cruel methods allowed for hunting and trapping wolves are deeply disturbing. The majority of Minnesota voters oppose these inhumane and unethical, yet legally sanctioned practices: Metal leg-hold traps that crush limbs, wire choke snares that cause painful brain bleeding, and bait like food and the calls of wolf pups in distress that lure adult protectors to their death.

As you again ask Minnesotans for the opportunity to lead our state, I ask that you show leadership on this issue by suspending the 2013-14 wolf hunt and direct all concerned state government bodies and agencies to get back to their stated goals of ensuring the long-term survival of the wolf in Minnesota, and reducing conflicts between wolves and humans.

Sincerely,

Jessica Lange

Cloquet, Minnesota

The Slaughter of Wolves – This Is A TRAVESTY

baby_wolf_buttonYou’re going hear a lot about this topic as it gets closer to the time I fly to Sacramento to stand with Defenders of Wildlife to testify at a public hearing. 

Is this the legacy we wish to leave to the next generation? A climate of cruelty?
Can you live with yourselves knowing that animals are being tortured with steel-jawed traps? I hope not. I know I can’t.

As much as I want to devote all my time to my usual superficial pursuits of shopping and reading celebrity tabloids, this has become my life’s mission.

Here’s some important information:

The killing has resumed.

Montana’s hunting season began in earnest on September 15th. Last year hunters and trappers killed off more than one third of the state’s entire wolf population.

With a host of new and deadly hunting and trapping provisions, Montana is set to become a wolf tragedy in the making. We can’t let that happen.

Please help save wolves and other imperiled wildlife with a generous gift to Defenders of Wildlife.

Anti-wolf forces are determined to drive wolf populations down to the bare minimum.  Earlier this year, they introduced a shameful batch of anti-wolf measures in the Montana legislature.

And they could spell disaster for Montana’s wolves:

  • The cost for out-of state-hunters to purchase MT hunting licenses to kill wolves dramatically dropped from $350 to only $50, thus encouraging hunting of more wolves by out-of-state hunters;
  • It’s now legal this season to use electronic devices to lure wolves to their death;
  • The number of wolves a person can kill during hunting and trapping season has increased from one wolf in 2011 to five wolves this season; and
  • As of now, hunters can now walk right up to the Yellowstone National Park border and shoot any wolf that crosses the invisible park boundary – even if it’s just for a minute.

Montana is adopting more extreme wolf management tactics, making it cheaper and easier to kill wolves.

Please donate today to help save Montana’s wolves from a future of increased and ruthless killing.

With your help we’re fighting for the wolves.

  1. We’re fighting against proposed bills that would put a shockingly low cap on the wolf population instead of maintaining healthy numbers like other wildlife species;
  2. We’re on the ground in local communities to dispel misconceptions and anti-wolf propaganda ; and to build political opposition to the host of crazy anti-wolf bills sure to come with the start of the state legislative session in January;
  3. And we’re working with ranchers, private landowners and others to pioneer non-lethal strategies so that wolves and livestock can peacefully coexist.

The war to save wolves now spans the country…from the Northern Rockies, where the killing has claimed nearly 1,200 wolves since 2011…to the Southwest, where the Mexican gray wolf is struggling to survive…to Washington, D.C., where anti-wolf forces are driving a misguided delisting proposal through the federal bureaucracy.

Your help will never come at a more important moment. Won’t you donate today?

Thanks for all you do,