So says the linguist Will Graves. Yes, linguist, and an expert on the Russian language. Russia has a long history of wolf hating. Wolves do kill livestock. However, they very, very, very rarely attack people. We’ve had only one fatality of a healthy wolf (it was actually two) killing a person in North America. In modern Europe, there isn’t a single case. A pack of wolves snatched children in India, but basically, wolves are not dangerous to people. Wolves do kill livestock and domestic dogs, usually over territority (sometimes for food).
Dogs attack 500,000 to 1 million people per year. As I’ve said before, the Spanish used dogs to their advantage against the native peoples of Latin America and Florida. These big mastiffs killed people in much the same way wolves kill their prey.
For some reason wolves just don’t think of people as food. I don’t know why.
Read L. David Mech’s works about wolves if you want to know the real animal. For fun, read Farley Mowat, but don’t believe everything he says in it, either. Some of what he says is really good in it, but wolves do kill game species. The Inuit he uses as a source actually consider the wolf vital to maintaining the fitness of caribou herds. This tribe no longer lives as it once did, so the wolf is alone in that part of the world.
We need to understant that both Mowat and Graves’s work are both based on folklore. Mowat’s book is based on Inland Inuit folklore as much as Graves’s book is based on Russian superstition. Mech’s work is real science.
Certain political organizations are really good at putting crappy “exposes” of this type on the market. In the world of politics, we know this too well.
Here’s a video of some researchers observing a wolf den. Really dangerous animals, aren’t they?
Wolves can kill people. I’m sure it’s happened, but it’s far rarer than shark attacks. And we all know, thanks to Shark Week, that shark attacks are quite uncommon.
So we should use Russian folklore to create wildlife policy?