Today during my lunch break, i was reading some news online and stumbled across an article http://www.monstersandcritics.com/smallscreen/features/article_1699609.php/Exclusive-Nat-Geo-star-and-expert-Casey-Anderson-on-Swedish-wolf-attack-mauling which a woman in Sweden was mauled and killed by a pack of wolves. She worked at the zoo and was found in pieces when her co-workers found her. The article did not say too much detail about the attack because not a lot of information was gathered but instead interviewed Casey Anderson who is a naturalist and bear handler. Brutus the bear might ring a bell to any of you who watch tv. He’s been on a few shows and talks about conservation, animals, and the environment. They interviewed Casey because he was also mauled by a pack of wolves but luckily survived the attack, so they wanted to know the experience he had and what he was thinking and so on. I like Casey and his view on the natural world and animals, hell, anyone who is interested in animals is already a friend of mine. He and Brutus (his bear) are well known for always being together but i have mixed feelings about this. Many people anthropomorphize animals because of the tendency to be caring and nurture any living thing that is either cute or vulnerable. Animals are wild and their instincts kick in when their life is on the line. The lady in Sweden who was attacked by wolves should not have gone alone. Wolves are in a highly complex social hierarchy and you have members of the pack always looking to dominate the leader to move on up the ladder. When they eat, only the leader gets to eat first and the best meat. The least powerful in the pack eats scraps or the less desirable meat. It’s fascinating and just boggles my mind how wolves can be such intelligent species, no wonder they are apex predators. They have been known to fight down prey twice their size and who can easily kill them in defense. They work like a team and have a strategy for each hunt. Just what i have typed should intrigue even the least enthusiastic animal lover. This is nature at its best, creating an animal so intelligent and powerful that even with it’s medium size, are still apex predators in the wild. And the more ironic thing is that, it’s closest living relative, the dog, is man’s best friend! The point i wanna make in this post is that anyone who is handling animals or encounters wildlife should encounter it extremely cautious and never alone. Any wild animal, no matter the size, can be dangerous and will do what is necessary to protect itself and it’s young. There are animals who are friendly to humans and even than should we still approach with caution. Most animals keep to themselves and we should admire and study from a safe line and if necessary to handle, as stated before, handle with extreme caution. I can’t stress enough the safety of handling wild animals, the name says it all, wild! They are unpredictable and therefore should not be underestimated. One of my greatest experience with approaching wild life was a year ago i was kayaking in the bay, early in the morning, when i was approached by a bottlenose dolphin, two feet from my kayak! When i noticed the dolphin, my heart went racing, my hands clammy and sweating and i immediately turned my kayak to get a better view. I never paddled closer to him/her. I just kept my distance, stopped paddling and see what he/she would do. The dolphin ended up going my direction and went right under my kayak! It was one of the greatest experiences i have ever had. As it went under my kayak, i saw his/her eye and i can tell it was thinking about things and analyzing me from curiosity. After it went under my kayak, it went off in search for food, i am assuming. I will write one day about dolphins and whales and why they are one of my favorite animals because if i get started now i will never finish. But hopefully i didn’t steer you off from the main subject of this blog, which is wildlife safety. Never be afraid to explore and encounter wildlife, they are magnificent beings that have personalities and a mind of their own! but as i stated before always with extreme caution. Here are some cool pictures of the dolphin i encountered and a neat one i found on a wolf. Until then, stay safe exploring, discovering and sharing!
The girl who couldn’t cry wolf