January 02, 2008

weirdest news stories of year 2007 - the human wolf

Shaun Ellis, a British animal researcher has recently spent 18 months living in captivity with a trio of wolf pups that had been abandoned by their mother at birth, educating them as wild wolves in the hope that they could survive in the wild.

Shaun is a big passionate about wolves & has spent about 16 years studying & living with them; he has written two books on his experience: “The Wolf Talk” (2003) & “Spirit of the Wolf” (2006).

Shaun interest for these animals evolved as he began recording wild wolf howls in the woods, using recording equipment at night in freezing temperatures and snow, and then playing them back repeatedly & listening to them patiently the next day. that learned him how to pick out individual pack members through their distinctive sounds. he spent seven years on the Nez Perce reservation in Idaho studying wolves where he first was able to get inside a pack of wolves and live among them.

Shaun has become an expert in the complicated sight and sound system used by wolves in communication; he believes he has mastered the language of wolves and communicates with them through posture, facial expression and vocalisation.

"It is a very simple language, as their world is far more complete than ours," he says.

he would like to see his findings used to allow wolf and human to coexist without conflict. Using their own methods of communication, wolves can be encouraged to stay away from areas where they might clash with man.

he had the chance to practice his methods in a farm in Poland which livestock had suffered wolf attacks, & since wolves are a protected species in Poland, the farmer hoped that Shaun might be able to find some non-violent way to keep the marauding pack away. Shaun's idea consisted of playing audio recordings of wolf howls, he believed if the local wolves heard howls coming from the farm they'd believe another pack had already claimed it as their territory. In order for this to work shaun had to determine the size of the pack and play back recordings of a similar-sized pack. Initial results were encouraging; in the first few weeks after the farmer began playing the recordings the farm suffered no further attacks.

shaun is determined to keep living with wolves. It has cost him his family and home—his partner and four children left him because of his total dedication to wolves. But he believes he can make a difference.