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Concerning the young woman killed in Alaska by wolves recently, the newspapers are glossing over the fact that she was mostly eaten and in another 20 minutes would have been just another person who inexplicably disappeared without a trace in the wilds of Alaska.

She was so far gone that immediate identification was impossible; they couldn't even tell her gender, only that the remains were human. The villagers of Chignik Lake had to do a head count to find out who was missing. It is a documented case only because a local snowmobiler happened on the scene before she was completely consumed. This is not hearsay, these are facts.

Many native oral traditions of people that have lived with wolves for thousands of years - Siberians, Northern Europeans, Scandinavians, as well as Eskimo and Indian groups across North America - have stories of wolves occasionally killing and eating people. Yet we dismiss these stories as fairy tales and say they can't be true. Why is it we don't believe what the people who have lived on the land for thousands of years have to tell us? Why is it not "fact" until a wildlife biologist sees it happen?

There are many documented cases of wolf aggression in recent years; these are the lucky ones that survived their encounters. I'm not advocating widespread panic or fear, nor eradication of wolves, but we need to be cognizant of the fact that the wolf is a magnificent predator and to them we are not their brothers, just another potential food source, a slow and clumsy food source at that. Something to think about as wolves are consuming their food supply faster than it can reproduce.

Jim Russell, Florence

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