Remember “Little Red Riding Hood”? where the Big Bad Wolf was the villain and ate the grandmother? Nursery rhymes weren’t the only tales that cast wolves in such a dark light. There are many tales where wolves are seen as vicious predators thirsty for blood. One of the original monsters in our folklore called the werewolf is based on the savagery and blood lust of a wolf. The curse of a werewolf was also seen as an illness tainting the association with the savage wolf.
The truth is, wolves aren’t like that at all. Wolves are highly sociable creatures similar to dogs. In fact, wolves and dogs derive from the same common ancestor. Wolves are a lot like us in the sense that their packs are like a strong family unit and they fight to survive together. They all have their important roles to fulfill in their families. For example, older female wolves are often tasked to watch over their much younger siblings when the parents go out to hunt. You can see many moments like that on the Wolf Conservation Center’s YouTube account. Observing their behavior you can see many similarities between a wolf family and a human family. It’s also important to note that they aren’t an aggressive animal and will not go looking for trouble with humans. They’re more afraid of us than we are of them and will not bite unless cornered.
All of this to say that they are one of the many species that are hunted in the United States and grey wolves themselves were recently taken off the endangered species list this year which means that they are in danger of being hunted and killed off once more. Their protections were taken away. I think it’s important to share the idea of donating to wolf conservation efforts to help protect them in the wild. Not only are they an important key predator in the food chain but they’re very beneficial to the earth and the wildlife around them. I believe National Geographic did an article talking about how the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone helped stabilize the ecosystem and bring back new species that left. Helping the wolves in turn helps us create a more stable earth for the future. I believe it’s the little things we can do to help cause a big change. Little things like donating to the cause of protecting wolves or visiting conservation centers can help make a positive change for not only the wolves but for us and the earth. The wolves aren’t fairy tale villains, they’re gentle creatures that share this earth with us and we should help create a better and stable world for the both of us.