living among wolves


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ABC News: “Learning to Speak Wolf: Woman Risks Her Life for the Wolf Man She Loves


it’s easy to watch the National Geographic documentary about Shaun Ellis and say this is a crazy man who thinks he’s a wolf. in a way, he’s adopted their mannerisms, and eaten their food (lots of raw meat and organs) to become a wolf, but he’s taken notes of his experiences and applying them to a practical use. one of the major projects he worked out was figuring out how to find a living balance between wolves and farmers. to stop farmers from killing wolves who threaten their livestock, and to also stop wolves from eating the livestock, he figured out that by mimicking different howls from other wolf packs, making it seem like the farmland was rival wolf territory kept the wolves at bay. a technological solution that didn’t involve barbed fences, metal traps, leaving poison on the ground, and one that was more efficient. some scientists could have figured out something similar with their observations, but would it have been as effective if they couldn’t pick up on the distinct tones, ranges and calls of the howls, and noticed that different packs have different howls?

Ellis doesn’t spend all his time with the wolves, he returns to human civilization to speak with other scientists, experts, get food, etc every once in awhile. and once he went into a pub, and met Helen Jeffs. they fell in love, and while Helen could moved in with Shaun into his trailer, she’s taken her commitment to him a step further – deciding and attempting to join in the wolf pack, as well. Animal Planet has a new series chronicling her move: Living with the Wolfman. the dangers of this don’t need to be written, she doesn’t have as long of an experience with wolves, and one wrong move could have her killed. what an extraordinary, and almost selfless move to be with the one you love. she could be dismissed to be just as crazy as he is- the wolf man now has a girlfriend, the wolf couple, and maybe one day they will have wolf babies. but in reading their story, it’s hard to not see the love b/w people, b/w wolves, and b/w people & wolves. maybe it’s just the hopeless romantic, and animal lover in me.


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