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Wolves

Long, Long ago, God made the Wolf.

Long long ago, God made Man as well.

Something went wrong.

For, although the Wolf has done little to harm the man, the man has nearly exterminated the Wolf. And, as I am not just talking about the mass murders of wolves in the early 1900's, I am talking about what could happen- again.

Let's back up. The Wolf (canis lupus) has been on Earth for millions of years. It is a close relative of the dog, so close, in fact, that they are the only two species that can mate and produce offspring that are not sterile. They have four legs, two ears, two eyes, and a thick, furry coat. Wolves are one of the great animal athletes. They can average 40 or so miles a day, traveling as a pack and in no great hurry, and there have been records of over a hundred miles in a single day. They are predators, yes. Usually wolves will prey on rabbits, hares, squirrels, or anything small when they are alone or game is scarce. When together as a pack, wolves can take down bison, moose, deer, lynx, etc. They will take the old, young, weak and sick of the animals, for the benefit of Mother Earth. This way, the prey animals remain healthy and stong and alert, not slow and dumb and sick.

Wolves have a complex social system. As a mater of fact, aside from humans, wolves are the most socially complex animals around. They live in groups of about 5-8 members; but can live alone or in groups of up to 30 animals. The whole unit is basically an extended family, Mother and Father, brother and sisters, aunts and uncles. The Mother and Father Wolf are referred to as "Alpha" wolves, and are the smartest and strongest of the group. They maintain peace and order within the pack, directing hunts, migrations, and anything else that could come up. Also, the alpha male and female are the only ones who give birth, and this is good for a number of reasons. One, 2-7 cubs are very hard to raise, and it is demanding for the entire pack to raise just one litter, they don't have the resources to raise any more. Also, the offspring are more likely to inherit the traits that their parents have, those needed for survival, as well as "improving" the species. They carry their tails high as a symbol of status.
Beta Wolves are second in rank, after alpha male(who supervises the entire pack) and alpha female(who supervises the females). They don't carry their tails as high as alphas do. Depending upon how many wolves are in the pack, there are additional ranks, going down and down until Omega. The Omega is vital to the pack, although he lives the life of a scapegoat. Often, Omega will be the "babysitter"(even though all wolves take turns- it is a duty and a joy to watch over the cubs, they all love babies) and will releive pack tension whenever other members "bully" him around. The omegas are last to eat and usually the weakest and dumbest of the pack.(Or youngest) Omega's life is hard, but, it is easier than living alone.

What Happened...

What once happened to the wolf, is not a joy to explain. It was a four-legged form of genocide commited by the government. Though it didn't cause a World War or the eventual loss of 65 million lives, The government and European settlers almost completely exterminated the wolf from the United States. Now, environmentalists are happy to report that there are 1 hundred wolves in some states, but that is NOTHING compared to what there once was. There was mass murdering; Settlers would go out hunting for wolves to kill, using snares, traps, poisons, smoking them out of their dens, shooting them, etc. It was hysteria. These methods were usually painful, and would hurt the wolf that it was holding or killing for hours, even days.
"What are you doing today?"
"Oh, I was just going out to kill wolves."
"Oh, really? Hey, I've got about 50 people who would like to come!"
"Thats great! Bring 'em on!"

Now...

Now, there are people persecuting the wolves again. This time, it is through Yellowstone. See, in 1995, scientists had re-introduced the wolves. They had been working on this project for about 10 years, and can you possibly imagine the rejoicing when it was allowed to go through? So, scientists shipped a good number of wolves in from Canada, and took so much time and care. They tranquilized them, measured everything measurable about them, and did it over and over and over again. Hours and months and years of work all put into this one project. It was looking good! The wolf population in Yellowstone jumped to 120 wolves, they are now naturally migrating outwards for more "elbow room" and have been having a good time. It has been going great, despite setbacks like Wolf #R10, but that is a long story.

Read, Learn, Remember

Tribute

Wolf #R10

The speices known as Canis lupus has gone through a lot to get to their present safe posistion in Yellowstone and in the majority of the public's hearts that it is in today. They have pushed through the deadly Farm Bereau and through years of court orders... Defenders of Wildlife & co. have helped see to it that wolves remain a part of America's wildlife for years to come. There is talk about reintroducing them to other parts of the wilderness now, the Adroindacks and places in Montana. Hopefullly, all will go well and we can save America's heritage! Yay!!!

The White Man must
Treat the beasts of this
land as his brother.
What is man without
the beasts? if all the
beasts were gone, man
would die from a great
loneliness of spirit. For
whatever happens to
the beasts, also happens
to the man.

- Chief Seattle of the Puget Sound Suwamish Tribe (1855)

"Wolf Credo"
Respect the Elders
Teach the Young
Cooperate with the pack
Play when you can
Hunt when you must
Rest in between
Share your affections
Voice your feelings
Leave your Mark

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No two species have a more tangled, more intimate and more shadowy set of relationships than Homo sapiens and Canis lupus.
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