Yesterday I went to the UK Wolf Conservation Trust for a wolf walk. The trust is charity which was opened in the 1980s to help to dispel the myths around wolves and support other organisations and groups round the world who are helping wolves in the wild. In the trust which is located in Berkshire there was the first birth of European wolves, a subspecies of the Grey wolf, since they were hunted to extinction in 1750. They also have a pack of three Artic wolves, who were also the first in Britain.
It was a really wonderful day walking with the wolves, watching them interact with each other and their handlers. They do just look like big dogs, maybe a little more dangerous.
Myths and Facts
Now, wolves have a reputation for being this fearsome creature that will kill humans without hesitation, when in reality they are more likely to run away from humans. Wolves when hunting go after the weakest in the group, they would not be able to take down a healthy animal easily, and humans are not easy prey to a wolf. Here are some more myths about the Wolf.
- There a millions (1 000 000) of wolves in the wild- there is closer to three hundred thousand (300 000) wolves in the wild. Hunting and loss of their habitats to farms and housing has caused many wolf species to become endangered.
- Wolves kill lots of domesticated animals- in Yellowstone between the years 1987 and 2000, 83 cattle were killed by wolves, that’s about 6 a year, not a lot compared to those which are still-born or died of other natural causes.
- People are killed by wolves- wolf attacks are rare, this is due to the wolf’s innate ability to avoid humans. Wolves are dangerous, they have three times the biting power of a pit bull and twice that of a German Shepard, roughly, but compared to bears, snakes, dogs, and deer they are not that dangerous to humans. The ones who do go after humans are usually rabid and alone.
- Wolves kill for sport- unlike humans, wolves only kill to survive.
And I will leave you with a wolf howling.