Anyone who has spent real time with wolves is struck, not only by their absolute passion for living, but by their deep love of family that is in every fiber of their body. The joy at greeting each other after an absence is the same joy our dogs show when they greet us – but intensified because everything a wolf does is more intense, perhaps because life is so much more precarious for them. The adoration of puppies is complete by mother, father and the rest of the pack. When babies are born, the excitement ripples through like lightening. Babies! Babies! They vie among themselves for the privilege of feeding them and taking care of them. And when there is a loss in the family there is profound grief.
A wolf called Moonbeam, a delicate free spirit, was chosen by the huge stunning white wolf called Cloud to be his mate. Their delight in each other was obvious and mutual. She became pregnant. He watched over her the night she gave birth. All three pups were born dead.
She grieved and grieved. Eventually she laid two of them to the side. The third she could not part with. She carried it around gently, laid it down, licked it, carried it for one day, two days, three days, four days, five. The person looking after her went to take it from her on the evening of day six but she hid it from him, panic stricken. Distressed at her pain, he tried to communicate to her that she could have it one more night to say goodbye. In the morning he would have to come and take it.
When he returned in the morning it was gone.
Moonbeam, free spirit, sank into the depths of severe depression. The caretaker worried for her life. For days she did not eat and barely moved. Cloud was distraught. Eventually she began eating, just enough for survival. It took her months to recover.
When we shoot a wolf we shoot a family member. If we do it, at least we should be aware of the additional suffering we cause and not do it lightly.10 Comments