I read of an old wolf today that had been transplanted from Alaska to Washington State. He didn’t have a name but just a government number but his name was not important; no more than his story is.
He was a hero in every sense, a superb specimen and in his prime. He had been acquired by the government to help repopulate an indigenous species back into parts of the lower forty eight states where they had become extinct at the hand of man.This old wolf was the progenitor of so many of the wolf packs in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, they all carried his genes, and he had done his job well. People once again could hear the lonesome wolf howls swell in their eerie echoes through the mountains. They once again saw wolf tracts in the freshly fallen snow. This was a success story which America celebrated.
Alas! The old wolf grew old as we all must, such is the way of the earth. He soon was shunned by his offspring and driven out from his natural home by younger wolves seeking to establish themselves. He was no longer an Alpha male, such is Mother Nature. His lifelong mate accompanied him though crippled as she was. Their worn teeth and arthritic joints were hindrances and he was pushed into mankind’s domain. He could no longer hunt effectively nor catch the elk nor the deer. Winter drove him down from the high passes, so he innocently took what was available to him and his mate; some calves of a rancher.
There was no malice nor greed nor evil intent, just purity in survival. He did what was natural for him and his mate to survive but he offended mankind this time and his fate was sealed though he didn’t know.
The old wolf and his mate, outlined by the white snow, heard their doom approaching assuredly. Did he run or try to flee? In my mind I see him and his mate staring up and confused by the rotor's whirl, amid the billowing whirls of snow unable to flee from mankind because of the deep snow but majestic in all their glory. Did he hear the rifle shot that took his life?
They were both shot by a government hunter from a helicopter at the behest of the rancher to appease his monetary loss.The old wolf and his mate were regal even in their deaths, magnificent, Innocent and pure of heart by God’s natural standards and mine. He knew only what he must do to survive and provide for his mate.
I understand it all and their end was probably more merciful than dying of starvation in the high passes but I sincerely hope he and his mate were respected. I would suspect they probably landed and removed their expensive tracking collars and examined them, if not performed an autopsy, such is science. My concern is sentimental I suppose being that I am now old and in the winter of my years. I don’t believe that they will shoot me.
I hope they were honored and treated with some modicum of respect. I would hope they were left where they lay in the mountains such is nature or possible cremated by fire such was their spirit and strength. I would be upset if they disposed of their bodies in the landfill where they were just dumped.Mankind is so often hideous. I am reminded of what we do to aborted fetuses for research’s sake, no respect for the sanctity of life. The old wolf and his mate were purer of heart than all of mankind. What is the right of it?