Posts Tagged ‘wolf’
The wolf is my animal totem.
Local event at the Lane county fairgrounds: Steve Martin’s Wild World of Wolves. I have strong feelings about wild animals in captivity and used for “entertainment” purposes. I don’t know anything about this outfit specifically; I assume the wolves are loved and treated well, but that is not the issue for me. My personal opinions aside, I find the wolf synchronicities lately to be interesting. (The Steve Martins Wild World of Wolves is one feature of Martin’s Working Wildlife of Frazier Park, California, where wild animals of many varieties are trained to work in film, TV, etc.)
An acquaintance on one of my social networking sites posted about a wolf hybrid that attacked his chickens the other night. The following item appeared in today’s Register Guard on-line, even though the article is from December: Biologist’s take: Wolves not as big, bad as thought
I found this juxtaposition an alarming one: a photo of a five year old boy with rifle “prepare [ing] to fire away at the quarry on a video screen at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s electronic shooting gallery” and below, a photo of one of the three ‘wild wolves’ at the Boat and Sportsmen’s Show at the Lane County Fairgrounds. (Register Guard, Saturday February 4, 2011.)
The 2-year-old male wolf, from the Wenaha pack, had been captured and fitted with a radio tracking collar in August.
It was found dead Sept. 30 on the Umatilla National Forest, Fish and Wildlife said.
There is still no official cause of death. The wolf is being sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland for a necropsy, said Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Joan Jewett.
The reward indicates the high priority Fish and Wildlife has put on finding whoever is responsible, she added.
The other day I posted about the coyote population inside the city limits of the coastal town of Newport, Oregon. In fact, as I wrote, a coyote has been seen by several people on the street over from my mother’s house. For whatever reason I never thought of coyotes in the area, certainly not right in town, a couple blocks from the touristy Nye Beach area. Deer are common, and there was the black bear story awhile back along the Yaquina River (woman was sentenced to leave her home and not return to the area for feeding a large population of black bears.)
Much closer to home, as in no more than five miles from here, a report in the local paper about cougar in the well traveled Spencer’s Butte park. That location is heavily used by hikers, bikers, nature lovers, etc. From the Register Guard, the area’s newspaper:
<a href=”http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/24574682-41/butdorf-butte-cougar-cougars-sign.csp”> Hazardous hike | Warning signs are posted after hikers spot three cougars while climbing Spencer Butte </a>
They did what they were supposed to do. They didn’t run. They walked slowly. They shouted. Loud and often.
“My whole body was full of adrenaline,” said Julie Butdorf, a University of Oregon student who was hiking Spencer Butte about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday with fellow student and roommate Jenna Rosenfeld when they came upon what they are sure was a cougar a few feet off the trail. And then another. And another.
“There were at least three of them,” Butdorf said.
They made it safely back to their car and called the authorities, who ended up posting a warning sign in the area.
There’s been a lot of controversy in this area about laws pertaining to cougar hunting, especially trap laws and the use of dogs in hunting cougar. No doubt this incident will bring the issue up yet again.
Cougar in the Spencer Butte area are “rare,” according to ODFW’s Brian Wolfer. However, the agency gets reports of cougar sightings in theresidential streets around the park. (A few years ago the paper had a photograph of a cougar in a tree on the University of Oregon campus; much closer to home than Spencer Butte park!)
Warning have been issued to stay out of the park, and signs put up about cougar. Yet human nature demonstrates that some people either have no fear, are too thrilled by the possibility of spotting a cougar up close, or, excuse me, stupid:
The warning signs didn’t stop folks from hiking the butte later Wednesday, although most went with caution.
“Where’s the sign?” said Myke Leopold of Marcola. “I need to read it.” Leopold, who’s hiked the butte a half-dozen times, brought along a friend Wednesday, Victoria Aguirre of Medford, who was getting set to hike the 2,065-foot butte for the first time.
“It’s daytime,” Aguirre said. “They usually come out at night, right?”
True, according to ODFW’s Brian Wolfer (and note the Fortean name game of his last name) and, cougars don’t usually attack humans, yet they have.
This one really got me:
Kerry Lennartz, also a UO student, heard about the sighting from a friend Wednesday morning. But that didn’t stop her from taking her weekly walk with her dog, Rozzie, a Shiba Inu. “It’s the middle of the day, so I figured it would be OK,” Lennartz said.
Besides, she’s worked with wildcats at a rescue center in her home state of Indiana, she said. She’s even touched a cougar.
“They’re really sweet in captivity,” Lennartz said. “They purr.”
“In captivity” animals are different than they are in the wild, and I’m not so sure about bringing a dog into the mix. I’m staying out of the park, not that I go up there much anyway, except to look for UFOs. The Spencer Butte area is also known as a Eugene UFO hot spot; and, in fact, I’ve seen a few UFOs in that area over the years.
Visiting mom today in Newport (which is on the central coast) she tells us of a coyote hanging out on the street up from hers. Mom lives literally across the street from the ocean, up a hill, in the Nye Beach area. The coyote has been seen by several people in the area.
The Oregonian’s Lori Tobias, in a September 2009 article, wrote of the coyote population in the area: Newport: Coyotes on the increase along the coast
NEWPORT – No one realized Amber was missing until Sheila Sammons got the call on Sunday morning: a neighbor had found her cat’s collar.
“I knew right away something was very wrong,” said Sammons. “I thought there’d been a cat fight and that I would find her injured in the bushes.”
Instead, Sammons would discover Amber had fallen prey to wild animals she didn’t even know inhabited the area; one whose numbers are unusually high this year — coyotes.
“We’ve had a lot of calls about coyotes this year,” said Doug Cottam , a wildlife biologist in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Newport office. “It has been a good year for the survival of the young. The conditions were good, mild and a little wetter.”
Complaints about the animals, reputed for their clever but cautious ways, have long been common on parts the central coast.
“In the past, in Lincoln City in particular, there were numerous coyotes that were tame and habituated to people,” said Cottam. “We’ll get calls from tourists and there’ll be coyotes on the beach, and they are fairly unafraid.”
Usually, when I’m at the coast, I’m busy looking for agates and UFOs. Now I have to add coyotes to my list.
On the heels of the otter post, where authorities acknowledged keeping the information to themselves about otters off the Oregon coast, comes this article in the Eugene Register-Guard: Wildlife Experts On Prowl To Sight Wolves.
I have a deep connection to wolves; it is my personal totem animal, my adopted clan animal, and Wolf has come to me many times in dreams. News of the wolf coming back to Oregon, where I live, is both wonderful yet also cause for anxiety, in regards to its potential fate.
In the Central Cascades area, there have been reports of a “wolf-like” creature seen in the area. This past winter, a wolf or “wolf hybrid” was filmed in the Santiam Pass. Witnesses in January saw “a dark, wolf-like animal” in the Pass. Biologists have been searching for evidence of the wolf in Oregon, mainly in Northeastern Oregon, where it hasn’t been known to exist since the 1940s. According to the article “large canids in the Cascades have brought the search for wolves to Central Oregon.”(There have also been reports of wolf like animal at Crater Lake, and 140 miles away at Suttle Lake.) Presumably, this means there is physical evidence of a wolf (or “wolf like”) animal in the area. But John Stephenson, Oregon’s “wolf coordinator” with the Fish and Wildlife Service, says “It’s a long shot” signs of a wolf will be found. (It’s a bit confusing what he means is “a long shot” it’s either bad writing on the part of the journalist, or intentionally distracting. Does he mean it’s a long shot evidence of wolves will be found in general, or that it’s a “long shot” evened will be found because there are no wolves, despite the film evidence?)
Stephenson and his crew searched for wolves in the area, but didn’t find any; suggesting that since he didn’t see anything, there isn’t anything there to see. The animal caught on film in the Pass was probably a “lone animal” just coming through.
In a particularly bit of Fortean twisty turvy weirdness, wolves are protected; considered an endangered species in Oregon, but only west of Pendleton and Burns. East of there, you can kill all the wolves you like. I wonder if Sarah Palin knows about this? (See my item on my animal blog tëme (tëme means “wolf” in the Lennape language, my grandfather’s tribe) on Palin’s blood lust and wolf hunts.)
Furthering this odd balancing act of wolf assassination vs. wolf reverence, is Oregon’s protection of the wolf “until there are four breeding paris east of U.S. Highway 97 for three consecutive years.” Then it’s okay to kill them again.
Wolves were in Oregon up until the 1940s; by then, they had been exterminated. Now that they seem to be coming back, the fears of some humans are also returning. Ranchers and farmers in particular believe wolves are a danger, not understanding they are predators that kill to eat only when hungry; they are not feral dogs. Witnesses insist they saw what they saw, and are either believed or not, depending on who’s doing the listening. Authorities have their own agendas which vary according to the individuals; a desire to protect the species above all else, greed, kowtowing to land owners, job protection, arrogance, and so on.
In a strange juxtaposition to the cruelty imposed on wolves and the blood lust some humans have for wolves, there are, thankfully, wolf sanctuaries in the Northwest that care for wolves. There is the Howling Wolf Sanctuary in the Grants Pass area. I recently “adopted” a wolf from them: his name is Tishmingo and he is a Timber/Arctic wolf, and the Alpha in his pack.
Another wolf sanctuary, also in Oregon, is the White Wolf Sanctuary in Tidewater, near the coast. In Washington state, there is Wolf Haven International.Let’s hope the wolf can be allowed to be, without a bounty on its existence.