Watch Wolves Watch You



Full Disclosure: I’m glad that there are wolves in Yellowstone.


‘I just love nature.’ Look at the wild animals.’ Where are the wolves today?” Mommy, I got to pee!’ These and other exclamations are a regular part of Yellowstone’s landscape. watch-and-rest.jpgAnd, it’s true, we’re all part of ‘nature.’

The joys of nature extolled by cheerleaders for nature, however, are not available on the roads of Yellowstone. They must be enjoyed away from the developed population centers and away from habituated wildlife. They are as rare in Yellowstone as anywhere, and getting more rare by the year.

Even the wolves, wild as we like to believe that they are, are now developing behaviors that take civilization in to account. They are becoming habituated to crowds. Soon they will become habituated to individuals. Soon they will enjoy the seemingly docile habituated elk at Mammoth. Soon people will be feeding them. The ‘guides’ have not stopped this problem. They get their nature lovers as close to the wolves as possible. Can they be counted on to show restraint? Can nature lovers and cheerleaders?

The wolves have collars; the better to track them. They have immunity; the better to save them. They have cheerleaders and fans; the better to attract dollars to Yellowstone’s parasitic guide industry. They have developed an increased awareness of humans; the better to watch you.

wolf-crowd.jpgLet’s see now, we’re going to watch wild wolves. How do we find them? Easy, just pay some money to a guide that has the right connections and he/she/it will take us there. Or, just stop and join the crowd with the biggest lenses.

Wow the excitement of discovery! We will drive to the right spot, set up our tripods, attach our hunk of fancy glass and enjoy nature. Did you bring your chair? I’m glad the road’s here – that way we don’t have to stand in the snow.

We can watch wolves in their natural habitat. Why aren’t they eating the elk that they killed? Are we too many? Are we too close? Why are they just laying there and not hunting? What’s wrong with them? Can’t they kill something? druids watchingBy the time they decide to eat, the ravens and eagles will have all the best parts. Wow this is raw nature. Look, they are all looking at us. Do you think they know we’re here? Maybe they’ll kill something else.

Oh look, the nice rangers moved the dead elk away from the road. Now maybe they’ll eat it. I just love the pictures of big wolves with blood all over their faces. Maybe I can sell some to National Geographic. Maybe they’ll kill something else.

watch-em.jpgThis is soooo exhilarating. The quiet of the vastness of Yellowstone; the sublime joys of walking in the woods; the thrill of seeing wild animals in their natural surroundings; the rejuvenation of a truly wild place; this is what our parks should be. I wish there were fewer cars on this road – can’t they do something about that? Are you coming over for dinner tonight? We can have roast beef and a big salad. Don’t forget the wine. They’re just laying there – still – what’s wrong? Maybe they’ll kill something else.

Let me use your cell phone, I want to hear about the joys of Yellowstone from that sweet little girl ranger – she’s just so adorable. Can we get the little lectures at home? What are the wolves doing now? Maybe they’ll kill something else.

I just love nature!


NOT CONVINCED? CLICK THIS ONE!my-pet-wolf.jpgplay-wolf.jpg


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