Wolf Sickness / Human Hysteria / Hybridization

“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.

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4 thoughts on “Wolf Sickness / Human Hysteria / Hybridization

  1. Thanks for the explanations. I had to look up “varmint”, and, oh, yeah that’s me. 🙂
    I’m going get informations on hybrids in plants and animals.

    There’s a certain lack of cannibal witches in Germany nowadays. But hey, Germany came up with worse, didn’t it? “Nursery”-stories and fairytales are quite challenging for children. I remember also…

    Well, in one version of little red Riding Hood the huntsman is saving it all. Hunters in Germany are very much opposed to competition by predators like wolf or fox. There is a huge difference between hunter/gatherers societies hunters and NTs who enjoy killing animals. Not certain what’s the difference exactly. … Between Dick Cheney (e.g.) and a Siberian or Inuit hunter. But sure that there is a difference.

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    • Hunting and trapping in Wyoming has always been a necessity; it’s highly regulated and pretty sane. Old style. American whackos can be grotesque: go on and on how “beautiful” an animal is, blow it away, and have some ritual psycho experience. Sick.

      If I remember “Varmint” was Yosemite Sam’s favorite expletive.

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  2. First read about “coywolf” some years ago. Is there any proof of the spreading of hybrids? If canis latrans and canis lupus can interbreed, why are they said to be different species? The tall eastern coyotes who killed a young canadian in 2009 were speculated to be such hybrids. Don’t know… Until now human attempts to hunt down the North American wolf to extinction greatly helped coyote, though many in the past might have thought that this species could be exterminated, as it’s so fiercely hunted. I heard there’s coyotes all over the place now and those privileged and humorous little animals live in all your major cities. That’s good news to me.
    As much as some may like the idea, U.S. Americans don’t have a monopoly on idiocy. Wolves are coming back to Germany, more than forty known packs till now, one in the area where I live. The beautiful forests are even better with wolves in them. Some weeks ago some farmers and politicians held a demonstration to inform the public what big bad wolf is doing to Bambi and to Shaun the sheep. They put some bloody corpses of animals on the street (of course those animals had names) and brought a taxidermised wolf that resembled a four-legged Hannibal Lecter. Big media coverage. They really used dead lambs that were raised to be sold and killed to elicit sympathy. For the animals were not killed by humans, which at least is natural, but brutally murdered by evil predators that shouldn’t exist. Sometimes one can’t help hating those folks.

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    • The second video goes into recent research findings, especially in urban / suburban environments. The Coyowolf is a hybrid, successful, and range is spreading, because unlike wolves, which prefer forests, coyowolf can prosper in a variety of environments. Out here in Wyoming, it looks like hybridization is not a factor: wolves and coyotes have access to their traditional habitats and probably would not produce viable hybrids anyway: different species than in the eastern U.S. The desert where I live is not productive of food for large carnivores; there are pronghorn antelope, but these are way too speedy for predators to catch. Coyote hunt rabbit and other small mammals; that’s about it. Eagles and owls are main predators in rocky areas and open sagebrush steppe. Smaller cats; Lynx and bobcat are fairly common. It’s a rough landscape in which to survive: coyote and fox are classified as “varmints” and can be shot at anytime, anywhere. Makes me nuts!

      It’s hard to imagine Germany without wolves! I remember my father reading to me from his favorite “nursery” stories – pretty gruesome tales of child-eating predators and cannibal witches! LOL

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