“Wolf sickness” is what I call the hysteria over the wolf’s “right to exist” in Wyoming and other western states. The fear of wolves is a form of human cultural insanity: The assumption is that “we” know better than Nature what to do with nature’s products; as the pinnacle of evolution-creation, it is our “right and obligation” to exterminate any and all competing predators, regardless of consequences that jeopardize our own dependence on the mechanisms, and species interactions, that build fine-tuned ecosystems. Rather than learn from Nature, we place ourselves “above it” – and destroy millions of years of exquisite evolutionary results: judge, jury, executioner. We drastically overestimate our intelligence and capacity for “empathy, compassion, wisdom and humility”.
In fact, I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone in the U.S. even mention humility as a “virtue” in moral-ethical character development. Or for that matter, “character development” as a worthwhile goal.
The “discovery” of the so-called Coywolf, has presented another opportunity for human hysteria. Our interest, however, ought to be in the implications for hybridization as a successful strategy for “threatened” species; (when possible) an evolutionary mechanism for perpetuating some genetic content, traits and behaviors in a hybrid successor. Dwindling numbers may have driven Neanderthals to mate with Homo sapiens, a behavior that preserved and passed on genetic traits. To be “dramatic” – a last ditch attempt at survival – that may have occurred several times during hominid evolution. The “last hominid standing” may indeed be a complex hybrid.