Before I started writing this blog, I had met with my spirit animal for the first time early in spring. Although it was domestic, the three arctic wolves I encountered mirrored my inner self. It was at the Toronto Zoo where they were held, as ambassador wolves, to teach others about their unique behavior. They were interesting located in an area of the zoo with other northern fauna like polar bears. Their enclosure was open (no roof or cage), surrounded by a small moat, on a grassy hill with a couple small trees and boulders planting the faux landscape. It was certainly not enough space for a wild wolf to flourish, but at least these ones seemed restive and healthy. The first wolf I lay my eyes on in my life was this day. It was on it’s side sleeping in the shade. I maintained a fixed stare at it’s elegant beauty. For reasons which I have seen in wolf documentaries, I thought this would be a female wolf, as their were two slightly smaller of the same species lying closely beside each other just beyond her. I walked around their home, and was pleased that not many other people were interfering with them or trying to arouse them up to get their photos. It felt they were all mine for just a few moments. I was able to see all 3 arctic wolves at once, and with the polar bear habitat in behind, I even had a sighting of one who had climbed to the highest peak of it’s hill gazing at the sky. These wolves were pure white like the taiga forest snow, with meditative faces. Being at the zoo was bittersweet for me, because unless these animals were found injured in the wild, or were human imprinted from birth, it means they were probably captured. I like to think we have come to use some ways of ethical treatment of animals for ‘educational’ means, but often my doubts are snuffed out by the things I read.
Since acquiring my book on Rewilding by Dave Foreman, I have been curious about ways in which I myself can collaborate to the conservation of apex predators in North America(not specifically, but for brevity I am talking about them here). Those being wolves, elk, musk ox, deer, moose, and black/grizzly bear. I have the most tendencies towards in my personal life, being a symbol of true primitive wild. There is a vast conservation area here, Algonquin Park, that is an inner sanctum for most of these predators. They are all wild, although the public can walk the forest, there are also means to protect their natural domains. I had known of another guild in the UK called United Kingdom Wolf Conservation Trust (http://ukwct.org.uk/index.php?page=projects). I am particularly fond of their protection efforts in Nepal, and Russia for native wolfpacks. My Norwegian woman friend Nema, operates a page for teaching about wolves, and shares many beautiful photos of them here: (www.facebook.com/savethewolffromalltheworld) She also has adopted 4 wolves over the past couple years of her own. I decided that I would give some worthy support, and help protect wolves around the world. I ‘adopted’ one of the Arctic wolves called ‘Massak’. (http://ukwct.org.uk/index.php?page=massak) It was born with two other siblings in a snow storm, and could not live in the wild, but they were found and transported to Britain from Canada. It is male, and now one of the few wolves of the English countryside.