I'm not a zoologist. And I never had a chance to watch wild wolves. Mainly
because there are only few wolves in central Europe left. The few remaining
keep a great distance from humans (for good reason). I have to respect their
behaviour because it is essential for their survival. But I can still be
fascinated by these great species. The following is a very quick translation
from the German version of my pages hence the poor English.
No animal was more feared and merciless hunted to near extinction than the
wolf. The father of our domestic dogs was condemned for no reason:
- Wolves don't attack humans.
There is not a single credible report of an attack of a wild and healthy
wolf. The opposite is the case: Wolves keep a great distance to humans.
- Wolves rarely kill lifestock.
If it happens mainly sheep are affected. But an attantive shepherd
and a well-trained guard dog effectivly reduces eventual losses. Cattle
seems to be much less affected. Hence the remaining losses can be easily
compensated by the tax payer. Lifestock usually isn't the food source for
wolves. Wild domestic dogs are a much greater problem.
- Food competition is nonsense today.
The wolf used to get hunted because he was competing for the same game
human hunters trying to get. This may have been a valid reason for the cave
man, since mankind settled down more and more it lost its importance to the
- Wolves are social.
They build packs, compareable with human families, organized in a
hierarchy. But not the physical strongest member of the community is
necessarily the individual at the top of this system (the so-called Alpha
wolf). Less the most brutal one. It needs a certain character to keep the
pack together. The hierarchy is dynamic structure. Sometimes it gets very
loud when this structure changes, sometimes even fights erupt. However,
primates, such as humans, are far more brutal in this situation...
- Wolves don't howl at the moon.
The "howling" is part of their communication, it most likely tightens the
social structure. The moon has nothing to do with it. And it doesn't sound
spooky. It is the most beautiful song I've ever heard.
So what's the fascination of the wolf? For me individual
reasons: the whole physiognomy is perfect, the proportions, the fur, the
muscle structure, the eyes (definately the eyes), the tail: there is nothing
more beautiful on earth. Additionally the adaptivity that made possible a
population spread over the whole northern hemisphere, with exception to
tropical and desert regions.
Much more information about the wolf is available on the net, just follow
Last modified: 2010-10-10
Copyright 1996-2010 by Jörg Reuter.