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Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Treadwell’

 

If only Timothy Treadwell had only focused on his relationship with red foxes, he probably would be alive today. I found his relationship with these very habituated foxes far more interesting than his bizarre anthropomorphism of Alaskan brown bears (which aren't grizzlies).

 

I don’t know if anyone has read a better review of Grizzly Man than this one, but I haven’t.

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I nearly died this morning  after reading quotes from the Grizzly Man film.

Here they are in all their glory.

My favorite didn’t make the list.

“Melissa is eating her babies!”

The “gift” from Ms. Chocolate did make it, though.

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As regular readers of this blog know, I found Timothy Treadwell’s relationship with foxes far more interesting than his relationship with bears. (Here he is with his beloved “Timmy.”)

If he’d only stayed with foxes, he’d probably be alive today, and we’d call him the “Red Fox Man.”

The real reason why I find his intimate relationship with these foxes fascinating is quite simple:

I think we can glean some insights into dog domestication from his relationship with his fox friends.

Now, I do disagree with Mr. Treadwell on the merits of fox hunting and trapping. If foxes become too densely populated, they will succumb to disease or mange and will die horrific deaths. It is better to have a controlled cull of foxes to prevent these diseases from causing a lot of suffering.

However, these foxes in Katmai National Park have never been hunted or persecuted. They have no reason to fear people. They not only scavenge and beg for food from people. Some of them, like “Timmy,” became extremely tame and even a bit bonded to people.

I think it is very likely that before we began our intense and often bizarrely creative persecution of wolves that they were rather like these foxes. They were curious and bold animals that were opportunists that would approach people without any fear. These animals were probably easily imprinted as puppies, and they were probably kept as pets by hunter-gatherers.

We know that most hunter-gatherers today keep all sorts of interesting pets, and it is very likely that wolves were kept as pets by these ancient hunter-gatherers. How long ago this happened is still up for debate– anywhere from 14,000 years ago to 135,000 years ago.

Modern wolves are generally very hard to tame, even if bottle-reared from any early age. They don’t typically make good pets, but it is very possible that this nervousness and reactivity that so marks this species is the result of a few centuries of intense persecution from our species.

Another clip.

Read Full Post »

As regular readers of this blog know, I found Timothy Treadwell’s relationship with foxes far more interesting than his relationship with bears. (Here he is with his beloved “Timmy.”)

If he’d only stayed with foxes, he’d probably be alive today, and we’d call him the “Red Fox Man.”

The real reason why I find his intimate relationship with these foxes fascinating is quite simple:

I think we can glean some insights into dog domestication from his relationship with his fox friends.

Now, I do disagree with Mr. Treadwell on the merits of fox hunting and trapping. If foxes become too densely populated, they will succumb to disease or mange and will die horrific deaths. It is better to have a controlled cull of foxes to prevent these diseases from causing a lot of suffering.

However, these foxes in Katmai National Park have never been hunted or persecuted. They have no reason to fear people. They not only scavenge and beg for food from people. Some of them, like “Timmy,” can become extremely tame and a bit bonded to people.

I think it is very likely that before we began our intense and often bizarrely creative persecution of wolves, they were rather like these foxes. They were curious and bold animals that were opportunists that would approach people without any fear. These animals were probably easily imprinted as puppies, and they were probably kept as pets by hunter-gatherers.

We know that most hunter-gatherers today keep all sorts of interesting pets, and it is very likely that wolves were kept as pets by these ancient hunter-gatherers.

How long ago this happened is still up for debate– anywhere from 14,000 years ago to 135,000 years ago.

Modern wolves are generally very hard to tame, even if bottle-reared from any early age. They don’t typically make good pets, but it is very possible that this nervousness and reactivity that so marks this species is the result of a few centuries of intense persecution from our species.

Another clip.

Read Full Post »

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