Wolves living near humans.
In BC Canada we have an estimated 8000 thousand wolves; wolves by nature are timid animals and are very rarely seen in the wilds. Wolves don’t like people, and tend to stay away. When we look at the Pack that live on Kaien Island, we see that wolves frequent town for a variety of reasons and if you ask people on the street what they think; you will get a thousand different answers to why they think the wolves are coming in and what should be done with them.
Why do wolves come into town?
There are a few reasons wolves come into town.
1. Deer, Prince Rupert has a lot of deer in the city.
2. We have lots of green space or micro forests. (plenty area to hide in)
3. Garbage, Prince Rupert is a dirty town. Wantage road near the golf course is littered with garbage and people dump out there deer, moose and elk remains giving the wolves a reason to come closer to town.
4. People feeding wolves, wolves are still being hand fed by people in town.
Some wolves have become habituated to humans.
Wild wolves that have attacked people tend to be wolves that have become accustom to human through different types of interactions. When we look at wolf attacks we noticed that wolf attacks happened where humans and wolves frequent the same areas such as Parks Canada and the outside of towns and rural areas. When you look at all the attacks that have happened in the past in BC it becomes clear that the wolves were conditioned to people or habituated to humans through direct contact through feeding.
So with that, let’s look at the behavior we are seeing with the wolves and who is really at fault. Wolves can become conditioned to humans; we are seeing some wolves that come into town following the deer, when their in town, wolves find there is easer food choices for them, garbage and other smaller animals. Wolves are smart animals and will feed of the leftover’s of humanity. We also have stupid human’s who feed the wolves thinking their doing that animal a favor, feeding wolves is against the law don’t do it. you’re not doing that animal a favor you are putting it into danger and other humans who may come in contact with that wolf.
Once a wolf sees humans as a food option they will connect humans too food and come looking all the time expecting the human too throw food at them.; And if the human has no food to throw at the wolf the wolf may become more aggressive. There are few wolves with this pack that are highly habituated to humans.
If we learned anything about wild animals is that wild animals can become dependent on humans. And the end result will be a
conflict with people or pets. Both of which can be avoided.
1. Don’t dump garbage and animal remains outside of town.
2. Don’t feed wild animals, deer, wolves, or stay domesticated animals.
3. Don’t feed pets outdoors.
4. Put all garbage into proper garbage cans with lids on them.
5. If you see a wolf in town through rocks, stick, yell and wave your arms around.
Wolves need to know they are not welcome in town, that people are something to be afraid of. Wolves will get the message and stay away. But if we keep doing the above we will always have a conflict and someone will get hurt.
Wolves by nature have different personalities like humans, some wolves are shy some wolves may be bolder. While environment and life experiences modify genetic behavior, evidence is mounting that individuals are born with innate tendencies toward boldness or shyness.
From the website;Learn more about wolves.
Evolutionary psychologists theorize that a diversity of reactions to strange stimuli are retained in populations rather than one behavior being selected for and the other totally weeded out because environments change constantly. Individuals with one behavior may survive and reproduce better for awhile. But by the time a few more generations roll by, environmental conditions usually change enough so that individuals born with a different reaction to a novel opportunity survive better and live to pass on their genes.
It’s interesting to theorize how differing innate wolf personality types may be selected for or against by humans. Throughout most of North America, for at least the last century, humans heavily persecuted wolves. Wolves were shot on sight. Any individuals who did not retreat and stay out of sight of humans were killed before they were able to pass on the genetics of “boldness” to offspring. Hence it is not unreasonable to speculate that innately shy wolves became more and more common in wolf populations. With the creation of National Parks and laws that protect wolves, persecution of any bolder animals still being born lessened. In areas where wolves are protected there may in fact be a selective advantage for bolder, less shy individuals. Bolder animals are less bothered by the myriad’s of humans swarming throughout wild areas and can proceed about the business of hunting and raising families without constantly expending energy seeking cover and staying out of sight.
While the reasons may be speculative, there is general agreement among wolf biologists that the number of bold wolves is increasing. However the sixty-four thousand-dollar question isn’t whether they’re increasing but what should be “done” about bold wolves. Are bold wolves “unnatural”? Are they likely to become “bad” wolves-wolves that threaten human safety? If so, should bold wolves be eliminated as soon as they are identified?
At this time, there is no convincing evidence that bold wolves are aggressive or dangerous. Therefore, there is no need to eliminate a wolf just because it does not run in terror at the sight of a human. These animals are not unnaturally bold (i.e. animals that did not exist before protection of wolves was imposed) but more likely a return to the normal personality variations that existed before wolf populations were subjected to extreme persecution by European immigrants to North America.
While bold wolves may be more likely to learn to exploit humans for food in the form of handouts or garbage, the rewards for such behavior can also attract shy individuals. Once that step is taken, whether it is by a “naturally” bold or shy individual, there is ample evidence that the animal is likely to become dangerous and should be destroyed. A fed wolf is a dead wolf and those who feed wolves should be viewed with the disdain they deserve. The people who leave garbage lying around or tempt a wolf with handouts would.
With that being said, we are all responsible, if we don’t do something about illegal dumping of garbage and animal parts, if we don’t stop feeding wild animals and domesticated pets outdoors. We all become the problem and unfortunate for the wild animal that become accustomed to handout from us, they will feel the full effect.
If a child get hurts from a wild animal such as a wolf it will be from our own actions. Wild animals have millions of years of instinctive behavior bred into them.
It’s that simple. No matter what you feel about it, no matter if you think I’m wrong. Its up to each and everyone to do what is right.
We can still have a positive outcome if we follow some simple steps.
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