The Mt. Kisco Childcare After School took a trip on Wednesday to the Wolf Conservatory Center in South Salem, and six year old Adrianna was not hesitant to let her affections known despite fables such as Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. “They are so cute, soft and fuzzy,” she said. But unfortunately the human race has long chosen to believe fairy tales rather than trying to understand the wolf, and we have nearly pushed the species to extinction as a result.
America once home to 250,000 wolves, the number dwindled to 500 by 1970 as fear won out. “People thought wolves wanted to eat us,” Teddy shared what he learned.
But the truth historically cowers like a wolf pup in the face of his alpha’s stern tail. “Wolves are afraid of us,” said Joseph B as he actually witnessed keeping his distance behind the chained linked fence that cordons off 20 acre sanctuary.
The myth dispensed for the kids, the reality of disappearing wolves began to clue humans in on the important role the canines play in the ecosystem. For instance, the hunting and killing of wolves in Yellowstone National Park caused the elk population to explode and decimated the plant life as herbivores had free reign to feed.
In turn, smaller animals moved on as their food supply disappeared.
The early 70s finally had the park realizing their mistake and introducing wolves back in brought Yellowstone back to its original splendor. “The park healed itself,” said Spencer the conservatory guide.
No harm in that – a lesson the rest of us need to learn when it comes to wolves.