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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Wolves: what people still do to them in the name of "Conservation" or, whatever!

I have had the opportunity to live close to a situation where a wolf cub was taken form the pack to be raised as a "dog".

It was very eerie to hear this unusual cry, not quiet that off a dog, not quiet that of a baby... where did it come from? Who, what, could make those heart breaking sounds/cries... for hours?
Very perturbing indeed.
A good couple of months went by until the source was located.... the conditions this scared and scrawny animal was in, was devastating to find.
Tied at the end of a heavy chain, with a padlock on its thick leather collar weighing him down. Only a narrow corridor between junk was his daily life.

The S.P.C.A was called.
The local Animal Control was repeatedly called, followed up...
Well, the animal had water and it was "legally tethered" - nothing could be done by either one.

The young wolf was growing and getting accustomed to a faint whistle indicating a friend coming by but, he could still be heard crying for hours on end! Although a dog was brought into the yard, nothing changed.
In all this time, despite claims to the contrary, this wolf, kept as a rabid dog, was never seen walking outside his tight surroundings.
Summer came, hot days - no water. They were given water by their friend; filling their empty bowl by sneaking into the compound.
Eight months went by... no change for the wolf. No help either.
Nothing could be done!? Nothing!?

There are animal rescue organizations that truly look for the welfare of the animal - regardless of the exiting "norm" and, outdated regulations/laws.
A couple were contacted. One offered to help.
A plan of action was devised. It would take some time. The companion dog could not "bark" with the approaching of "strangers".
Fortunately wolves are extremely clever pack animals and learn fast, instinctively I'd say, and as he got on "with the program" without even a faint whistle, so did his companion, the chubby dog with the smiling face.
So the program was unfolding faster than anticipated.

One evening the call came in. A volunteer would be around about 10:00PM to rescue/remove the wolf and take him to a home, 500 km away, in the country, to be with another mature female, also a "domesticated" rescue.
A risky "operation" for all practical purposes.

The volunteer went by the compound and the racket those two made could be heard at quiet a distance, reverberating and bouncing sound of the taller buildings in the neighborhood...
The volunteer could not get anywhere near them, just observe from half a block away...
Now, what?
This rescue operation had to be done that same night or there was no knowing when it could be arranged next.

After a little while, with inexperience in this matters, and enormous trepidation, the wolf's friend  approached in the usual quiet manner, by now it was almost unnecessary to even signal but, one thing was "being friends" across the fence, an another was actually touching, freeing the wolf from his predicament.
The approach was swifter than anticipated, reaching over the thorny blackberry bushes, at the lowest point of the fence the two met up. Hand reached over, grabbed collar - padlock on (!) - but, somehow the padlock remained with the chain. (?)
The young wolf was free! It took only a second coaxing and a little pull for him to jump the fence and run around the corner of the alley to the waiting volunteer and his van. As "rehearsed", not a peep out of either animal. Wolf and friend reached the van.
Both volunteer and friend realized at the same time the wolf had never been in a vehicle of any kind.
Jumping to the back seat and coaxing did wonders as he reluctantly followed. Extraordinary! He was "glued" to the friend! (Friend was shaking and crying of joy. Disbelieving to actually have become the rescuer.)
There was no way this trust could be so soon broken, the wolf had to feel safe!
Quick thinking! Drive into the parking lot and, hope, really hope, that he will be quiet until a quick change of clothing and a bite before the trip... he did remarkably well, although it was obvious he was scared.
It did not take long for him to squeeze his furry self over the lap of the friend. half in the front half over the gearshift box... He stayed there, like that, the entire trip. The friend held on to him, moved, the entire trip, except for the two road breaks in the middle of the night. One for coffee and another for the three of them. He stayed close, not quiet pulling the leash.

The "contingent" arrived to their destination at 7:00AM.
All pout of the van, the mature female wolf came to greet him. Peaceful encounter, acceptance. Very moving. Tears flowed...
At the back of the property he run free for the first time in his life... he got into "recognizance" mode.
The mature wolf's "family/pack" became his.
Volunteer and now, lifetime friend, quietly left - a long, peace-filled drive home was awaiting after breakfast, with the understanding of having done the right thing.

PS.: There are Rescue Organizations and there are others that call themselves so, such as the one in the link... It took one quick look to see, assess, understand. I am horrified that these wonderful, sensitive animals are treated no better than circus bears some years back. It is unacceptable! In the name of "conservation",  my foot!
There is absolutely no need to do what these misinformed people are doing. What surprises me is that animal loving Brits are buying into this abuse.

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