Letter: Wolf truths
February 11, 2019
We are now living in an age in which "alternative facts" appear to have become the norm. Exaggerations, distortions, lies, half-truths and selective omissions of the truth are acceptable as long as they confirm what we already believe or want to believe. Occasionally, these "alternative facts" are supported by so-called "experts" who almost always have some monetary or other ulterior motive for doing so.
Nowhere is this phenomenon more prevalent than in the anti-wolf reintroduction arguments (with the possible exception of the global warming deniers.)
I have advocated for wolf reintroduction for nearly 40 years now. Throughout those decades I have heard the same myths, fantasies and old wives' tales repeated countless times by those who abhor wolves. Occasionally, shreds of actual fact are interwoven with the fiction to give the appearance of credibility to these stories. Whatever happened to "Thou shalt not bear false witness"?
All of this occurs despite the existence of literally hundreds, if not thousands, of genuine scientific studies and reports on actual wolf behavior, biology and history proving these myths to be wrong.
Admittedly, the real facts can sometimes be complex and take a higher level of persistence and intelligence to understand. Nevertheless, they are the truth.
I accept that we will never be able to educate or convert the extreme wolf haters, but for those of you who would like to know the actual truth, I urge you to read any of the scientific works on wolves. Check out any of these scientist authors and other wolf reporters:
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David Mech – probably the world's foremost authority on wolves.
Jim Halfpenny – who has spent decades studying wolves in the Yellowstone area.
Barry Lopez – "Of Wolves and Men"
Rick McIntyre – "War Against the Wolf"
Jim Brandenburg – "Brother Wolf"
Gary Wockner – "Comeback Wolves"
Hank Fischer – "Wolf Wars"
Steve Grooms – "The Return of the Wolf"
Or any of the numerous other factual writings about wolves.
At the very least, the next time you hear someone ranting against wolves, ask them why their stories don't agree with the published genuine facts.
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