Monday, 25 July 2011

Walking with Wolves


Walking with Wolves, a set on Flickr.

In something of a break from the norm, this past weekend we travelled up to a place called Beenham in Berkshire to visit the Wolf Conservation Trust, an organisation that C is a member of. One of the perks of membership is the chance, once a year, to go on a "wolf walk" with several (three in our case) of the wolves that live at the Trust's centre.

We also got to see, usually pretty close up, all of the other nine wolves that the Trust currently has on site, including three new puppies bred there, and three Arctic wolves recently arrived from Canada (and given special quarantine dispensation to stay in the centre).

Anyway, the Trust did a really good job organising and filling our afternoon with the wolves, and we did learn a lot about them. It was particularly interesting to see that while they were somewhat more like dogs than I expected, they were also clearly a whole lot more than dogs at the same time. There was certainly no doubt that, though socialised with humans, they were still pretty switched on in a wild sort of way.


Graham said...

Wow. Looks like it was a grand day. I'm in two minds over their reintroduction into the highlands. At Alladale, it seems like they're planning for no greater than a glorified zoo with vast areas (and hills) cordened off from the public.

Wolves roaming wild on the hills would certainly make hillwaking a more interesting experience - to say nothing of wild camping :)

Plumbago said...

Bar the odd eccentric, I don't think wolves are going to be roaming Scotland any time soon. Because of the way that the landscape's used (e.g. sheep), it'd be impossible to introduce them without agitating farmers, and that's not going to happen. Plus the density of humans is never super-low, so there'd bound to be incidents with little Timmy being wolf-chow.

I think the idea behind the Wolf Conservation Trust is, essentially, to educate people about wolves and draw attention to their plight in nations where they're still not extinct. Certainly, most of their support goes to eastern Europe (and a bit in Africa) where wolves exist but are threatened.

Anyway, I don't think that you need to worry about buying bite-resistant lycra walking shorts any time soon!