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Three Pack Photo  Monty Sloan Wolf Facts

Facts - History
Wiping out Wolves - a history.

By means of hunting with horses and dogs or trapping in pits, traps and cages, wolves were completely wiped out in England by the early 1500s. Scotland killed its last wolf in the mid-1700s. Most European countries eventually finished off their wolf populations soon after. A few still live in eastern Europe, India, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Middle East. No one knows how many survive in Russia and China. Most wolves in North America are found in Alaska and Canada and hunters, from whom most of our knowledge of this shy creature comes from, say they are now almost impossible to find...

This extreme attitude toward wiping out wolves can be seen to the fables and legends about the animals that originated in the Middle Ages and still survive today. In the Middle Ages, wolves were also thought to be in league with the forces of evil, many legends connected the wolf with Satan and the dark powers of the supernatural world. See the tales area for some more information on Wolf Tales.

In America, Wolves served as models for hunting and played a significant role in the religious lives of the plains tribes and other groups of North American Indians.

The powerful and courageous wolves were seen as representatives of important natural forces or spirits.

Images of wolves often appeared in religious ceremonies and Indian healers included wolf skins in their medicine bundles, the collections of sacred materials that they used used for curing illness.

Other native American hunters who have known the wolf intimately are the Eskimos. Today as in the past, groups of Eskimos share their homeland on the cold northern tundra with wolf packs, hunting the same prey and leading the same kind of nomadic life.

Indians of earlier times and the Eskimos of today, respect the wolf for its skill as a predator. They also admire the wolf's dedication to the welfare of its companions, a model of social behaviour for humans as well as animals.

Eskimos like Indians, sometimes kill wolves for their skins or for other specific reasons, but they believe that they are taking the life of an equal, not slaughtering an enemy.

Such coexistence between wolves and humans is possible only when there is no conflict between their ways of life.

Conflict quickly arises when humans begin to produce their own food instead of hunting wild animals and gathering plants. Wolves have no choice but to continue their way of life, but now they may find their prey limited except for the herds of sheep and cattle.

When this happens, their image in human eyes changes they are up longer considered admirable and courageous hunters but dangerous predators to be controlled or exterminated...

If you have good enough satellite tv reception on your dish satellite tv system, you watch wolf programs 24/7, or record them on your satellite hd dvr!

Continue on to Part II of History of Wolves and Humans:

Fact Index
About The Pack
About the Pack

Diet - What wolves eat
Wolf and Human History
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All Photos on this page Monty Sloan / Wolf Park