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February 12, 2010

Valentine’s Day for Wolves?

For most of us Valentine’s Day represents cards, sweets and celebrations of love but did you know that February 14thalso marks a major festival in ancient Rome named in honor of wolves?  The festival Lupercalia was held during the peak breeding season for wolves.  Wolves only breed once a year and typically only the pack leaders produce the pack’s single litter of pups.  The breeding season extends over February with the breeding pair exhibiting courtship rites (e.g. playing, howling together, physical bonding, etc) throughout the process.  The alpha female gives birth about 63 days after she becomes pregnant.  Born blind and helpless, the whole pack cares for the youngsters until they’re old enough to hunt on their own at about 10 months of age.  So, perhaps do a little howling yourself this Valentines Day in honor of our wild friends.  Suzanne 075018small


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I’ve been trying to understand why Governor Butch Otter of Idaho and others in the mid west would want to kill off all the wolves. I thought of several reasons and they are all not good. First, there is greed.
There is money to be made from big game hunting and they certainly don’t want the wolf eating any of the profit. And of course we don’t want to lose a few of our hundreds of thousands of cows. The greed factor already has been proven in Alaska. It was said that wolves were being killed because they took to many moose. But could some people be that greedy to allow profit to trump sensibility. I guess the answer is yes. People are catching sharks by the thousands just to take their fins. People are killing black bears just for their gall and people are slaughtering elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns. All this for money, greed. Is killing wolves to enhance profit any different. Should farmers kill every deer and rabbit just because they happen to like vegetables? If everyone were allowed to eliminate a species of choice what would be left. People in the mid west and Alaska could well be happy with their cows, elk, moose and four-wheel drives. Yep, you betcha. But, to most sensible people the loss of a species forever is a sad event, especially if caused by plain and simple greed.

My second thought was of the holocaust. Some years ago one man decided to eliminate one ethnic group of people. Could some people from those states mentioned share the same gene pool? After WW2 some Nazi’s escaped to South America. Could some have made it to the US and found acceptance by like-minded people in those states? Well, maybe that stretching it a bit. However, just maybe.

Then came thought number three. Descendents of Jedediah Smith? … A couple hundred years ago some people left the east to find their fortune in them there hills. Trapping as many fur bearing animals as possible was the method they used to acquire this fortune. . Thankfully gold was found. Otherwise, I am sure most of the fur bearing animals west of the Mississippi would have been rendered extinct, at least to that area. And, lets not forget the Buffalo. Never mind that native Indians needed them to survive. When the native peoples objected to the desecration of their land and the senseless slaughter of the animals needed for them to survive, the plunderers simply added Indians to the “no respect for and in the way list.”Therefore, they were hunted too. Could many of the people settled in the mid west be descendents of those mountain men carrying the same genes? Could be.

Call it what you want but this desire of certain people to just take and take without regard for other peoples or species, bankers, stock manipulators, corporate CEO, s and that ilk included, must be stopped by a more thoughtful and caring people. I hope we are still the majority. If we allow some and I repeat some people in those states to have their way, there will be nothing left but animal carcasses quad tracks and people scattered throughout. Sounds like “Mad Max “ to me.

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