Specialists studying animal behavior provide an invaluable service to our world, dispelling many myths and preserving the closeness of man with nature. They frankly save the lives of some animals, awakening understanding and compassion in a person. Today’s story really surprised me and I think it will not leave you indifferent. Watch until the end it will be interesting.
Shocked by the deplorable situation of wolves in the country, American naturalist and writer Jim Dutcher decided on an amazing experiment. After receiving permission from the National Forest Service, in 1990 he settled in a tent on the outskirts of the deserted area of Sawtooth in Idaho. After a while he wrote to his wife. Jamie joined him after leaving her job at the National Zoo in Washington.
Having accumulated a huge practical experience of communicating with animals, they started a new project aimed at proving to people that all the stories about the malice and treachery of wolves are complete fiction. That these animals have emotional ties and attachments, prey is killed only for food and human dwellings are bypassed far away, except in cases of extreme necessity.
Prior to the experiment, Jim had been shooting wildlife for many years, Jamie had experience in practical communication with wild animals in the zoo, so they understood how to carry out «introduction» into the pack. They had to live in the cold. My wife wrote that in winter in the morning the hair sometimes froze to the face, but everything was unexpected and new discoveries were waiting for every day.
They actually lived in the pack until 1996. During this time, the couple observed the social life of animals, recorded their sounds in different situations, filmed and gained trust. Jim and Jamie have known many wolves of the pack since they were puppies, and before their eyes they grew up and became powerful mature individuals. The couple witnessed scenes of the change of the leader, the advancement of the members of the pack on the hierarchical ladder, which plays an important role in the wolf society.
Their observations completely refuted the myths about the stupidity and extraordinary viciousness of animals, their great danger to humans. The couple found out interesting facts. Each pack lives according to a strict hierarchy. The life of all animals is led by an alpha pair — a male and a female. Only they decide where the flock will stop or choose places for hunting, are engaged in the reproduction of livestock.
In satisfying years, this is allowed to the next male in the hierarchy. Animals in a pack have their own attachments, preferences in occupations and form families. Wolves of the middle level of the hierarchy always quarrel and compete a lot, especially for animal carcasses. Therefore, the role of individuals occupying the lowest level of the flock is important.
They start games and fights to relieve tension between relatives. They find fault with them, but they also love them in their own way. When one day such a wolf accidentally died, the whole pack mourned him and howled. There were no games for six weeks. His relatives seemed to be trying to call him back. And they also witnessed how the male wolf almost humanly mourned his dead girlfriend, expressing, as it seemed to people, grief and sadness at her loss.
Scientists lived in a pack, brought them prey in the form of carcasses of slaughtered animals, contributing to the «hunt». As Jim and Jamie tell us, «we acted taking into account the conditions of the pack and did not approach them unless they showed us that they did not mind our presence. Every morning we went to them, leaving the tent and they met us, greeting us like members of their pack.
People adopted the habits of wolves, rested with them, played with cubs, photographed, filmed videos, recorded sounds. The wolves received them kindly. This went on for six years. Jim and his wife have made 3 documentaries and written eight books for a long time of «communication» with wolves. The spouses were especially pleased when hunters wrote to them and said that they had changed their attitude to these animals and now did not want to kill those who, like people, have families and friends.
After a six-year period in Idaho, «their» flock was transported to Yellowstone National Park as part of a population recovery program. A year after the breakup, Jim and Jamie decided to go to the new habitat of their pets to find out if the wolves would remember them. The animals recognized them! They licked people’s faces and whined. The couple were shocked and happy. Jamie called this the happiest moment of their entire mission.
Fate has linked the couple with wolves for life. In 2005, they created the non-profit organization «Life with Wolves». Jim and Jamie in every possible way contribute to the dissemination of truthful information about the persecuted species, sharing their knowledge and experience.
The project, which began two decades ago, has already saved many wolf lives. After seeing movies and reading books, you will not be able to just pick up a gun on a forest beauty, who also has the right to life, love and his corner of earthly civilization.