BREAKING NEWS: Wolf Crisis Averted Yesterday But Battle Still Looms

March 1, 2011

Great news for wolves.! The bad section of the House budget bill, 1713, has been exposed and HR 1 has failed.  The House has already passed a new Continuing Resolution to keep the government running. It should pass the Senate easily today.

. Click here here for the link to the new House CR.

We can breathe a sigh of relief, the crisis has been averted, for now. There won’t be a vote later on this week that could have contained section 1713, which would have driven a stake through the hearts of Northern Rockies gray wolves.

Be vigilant, we can celebrate today but you can be assured  there will be more bad delisting moves coming.

Watch how the budget negotiations play out over the next two weeks. The House passed a stopgap measure that will avert a government shutdown and extend the vote on the budget until March 18. We must remain vigilant and keep a close eye on what is included in the permanent budget bill the Senate negotiates.

I believe the power of our voices, raised as one, helped turn the tide. Thank you Wolf Warriors for your supreme efforts on behalf of wolves!!

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ALERT FROM “LIVING WITH WOLVES:

(Thanks Wolf Watcher For Posting This On FB)

March 1, 2011

With Your Help HR 1 Has Failed

Less than an hour ago the U.S. Senate shut down HR 1!  This budget bill, a Continuing Resolution,  had seemingly countless riders attached to it, including the one written by Idaho Representative Mike Simpson.  Without ever mentioning wolves even once, Representative Simpson’s rider (Section 1713), would have removed wolves from the protections of the Endangered Species Act and would have also prohibited the issue from any future judicial review.  Your calls helped bring to the attention of the Senators reviewing this 359 page resolution what the cryptically written Section 1713 was about.  Your efforts helped, your opinions were heard.

Wolves are no longer hidden in this budget bill, but it is eminent, that in the very near future there will be similar legislation introduced either in the form of another rider, like this one, or in the form of a freestanding bill, where once again the protection of wolves will be under attack again.  So the battle over wolves on Capitol Hill continues, but today is a good day for wolves.

If you wish to follow-up and thank the Senators you contacted for today’s outcome, we have reattached the list of phone numbers below.

And again, we thank you, and the wolves of America thank you as well!

CLICK HERE for link to alert

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Posted at 4:40 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

House passes stopgap funding to avert federal shutdown

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 4:40 p.m.

The House on Tuesday approved a stopgap measure that would keep the federal government funded through March 18 and cut $4 billion in spending by targeting programs that President Obama has already marked for elimination.

The proposal, which passed the House on a 335-to-91 vote, now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass easily. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Tuesday that it is likely to come to a vote in his chamber within 48 hours.

ClICK HERE to read the rest of the article

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Photo: Courtesy kewlwallpapers.com

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Endangered Species Act

Tags: Crisis averted, 1713 defeated, House passes new CR,  Wolf Watcher,  House passes stopgap funding, Senate, Living with wolves

Living With Wolves……Germany’s Werner Freund

    

Werner Freund knows wolves.  He’s been studying and living with them for over thirty years. 

He started and runs the Wolfspark Werner Fruend in Merzig, Germany, which is home to twenty captive wolves.  He loves wolves and promotes their good qualities and dislikes their undeserved reputation.  He’s raised over 70 wolf pups. 

One misconception is wolves are people aggressive. Wild wolves are rarely aggressive towards people. Dogs are another story. Since dogs have lost their fear of humans and some dog species have high prey drives, that combination can get them in trouble.  Dogs kill twenty people a year and bite another 4.5 million.

Wolves on the other hand are very shy and fearful of people and wild wolf attacks on humans are extraordinarly rare. When they do happen they get huge amounts of press because they are so uncommon. Most wild wolves would rather be a hundred miles away from any human. 

A good example Werner Fruend relates, about wolves good nature, involves a camera shoot. Normally Werner is  the only one to enter the wolf pen but on this particular day a reporter entered with him.  They both dressed in smelly wolf-approved clothing.

“Entering the wolves’ realm required a specific — and smelly — dress code. A sweater that held the wolves’ scent and had to be worn, as did tall rubber boots caked in mud, dried blood and who knows what else. The combination was a jolt to the human nose but a treat for the wolves. They only stopped licking the stranger’s boots when Freund brought out the main course, a chunk of raw beef.

As Freund held the meat for the dining wolves, the reporter shot photos, at one point lying nearly flat on the ground to get a good angle, figuring the wolves would pay no heed while eating. But curiosity got the best of some, and soon the wolves were walking over the reporter, licking her face and camera and trying to pull out her hair bands. They succeeded. Though clearly strong, the wolves remained playful and friendly and never aggressive.”

Hair ties anyone?

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Germany’s leader of the pack: To study wolves, he must become one, researcher says

By Jennifer H. Swan and Marcus Klöckner, Stars and Stripes
Stripes European Travel, October 29, 2009

“In a sign of submission, an Arctic wolf pup licks German wolf researcher Werner Freund on the face while Freund visits with the animal in its enclosure at Wolfspark Werner Freund in Merzig, Germany.”

It’s clear who the dominant “wolf” is among the pack of hungry pups.

The one in charge lies on the ground, holding the slab of calf meat firmly in his teeth while the fair-coated Arctic canines tear off pieces of raw tendon and flesh. Between bites, they crawl playfully over his back all the while adhering to the group hierarchy, which means they don’t abscond with the meal, however tasty.

The alpha doesn’t eat. While he may smell like a wolf, howl and yelp like a wolf, and certainly demonstrates he can think like a wolf, the alpha is different in one very fundamental way: He’s a human named Werner Freund.

“When I am with the wolves, I become a wolf,” Freund says matter-of-factly. He is, as his book on wolf research is titled, Germany’s “wolf man.”

At 76, Freund is gray and grizzled like the creatures he has lived among for more than 30 years. Over the course of his lifetime, he has been many things, including a professional gardener, a German army sergeant, bear caretaker and world traveler.

His wolf man phase began later in life, five years after he settled in Merzig, Germany, in 1972. With land borrowed from the city, Freund and his wife, Erika, created a refuge for wolves in the neighboring Kammerforst forest. Wolfspark Werner Freund is currently home to more than 20 wolves from Europe, Siberia, Canada and elsewhere.

The wolves are acquired as cubs from zoos or animal parks, typically when they’re 10 to 14 days old. Freund, who’s raised more than 70 wolf pups, sequesters them from the public for six months, sleeping with them and feeding them by bottle every two hours until they’re ready for their first bites of meat. With such close interaction, the cubs think Freund is the she-wolf, or the alpha female of the pack. It’s a bond that lasts for the wolves’ lifetime and it’s why Freund can freely enter their territory and study their behavior up-close.

While humans may be able to train dogs, “you can’t domesticate a wolf,” Freund says. “I had to become a wolf” to be able to interact with them.

Freund says wolves, who live about six years in the wild, live longer at his center. One died there at age 17 this summer.

When Freund visits his wolves, he is meticulous about hygiene, a hard-earned lesson taught to him by the wolves.

One day he entered the territory of an alpha female Arctic wolf and her pack, and soon after went into another pack’s area, without showering. The dominant female in the second enclosure picked up “the smell of her opponent and suddenly she jumped high and bit me in the ear,” Freund recalls. “I had to fight with her and after the fight she came up to me and licked the blood dripping from my ear. That was a clear sign of her submission.”

Freund and his human assistants live in their own den on the park grounds, a cozy house where domestic cats have free rein and the wall decor in the living room reveals a lifetime of adventure and a love of all things wild.

Visitors may see the wolves for free — and perhaps catch a glimpse of the wolf man — during the park’s operating hours between sunup and sundown. Trails go past seven different fenced enclosures, inside of which like breeds of wolves live as packs. Though physically separate, the wolves often join one another in a chorus of spine-tingling howls that echo through the park. Visitors may even be lucky enough to spy Freund in the act. Howling, after all, is a form of bonding, Freund says.

Normally, visitors cannot mix with the wolves as Freund does. But there are exceptions.

On one day in late July, Freund invited a reporter to join him inside the Arctic pups’ enclosure. The opportunity would afford the chance to observe and photograph Freund and the wolves interacting up close.

Entering the wolves’ realm required a specific — and smelly — dress code. A sweater that held the wolves’ scent and had to be worn, as did tall rubber boots caked in mud, dried blood and who knows what else. The combination was a jolt to the human nose but a treat for the wolves. They only stopped licking the stranger’s boots when Freund brought out the main course, a chunk of raw beef.

As Freund held the meat for the dining wolves, the reporter shot photos, at one point lying nearly flat on the ground to get a good angle, figuring the wolves would pay no heed while eating. But curiosity got the best of some, and soon the wolves were walking over the reporter, licking her face and camera and trying to pull out her hair bands. They succeeded. Though clearly strong, the wolves remained playful and friendly and never aggressive.

That’s the side of wolves Freund wants the public to see, though from a more distant vantage. He is driven by a quest to give people a better understanding of the animals he loves so dearly.

“There is this image of the evil wolf but this is too far from reality,” he says. “Wolves kill in order to have something to eat, so do other animals.” Wolves, like people, are social creatures, Freund says.

His long-time assistant, Tatjana Schneider, adds: “Humans could learn a lot from wolves. They (wolves) stick together and try to survive.

Freund, she says, “wants to show and tell people about what the wolf really is, what it stands for.”

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=103&article=65700

 Arctic Wolf Photo Courtesy: Stars and Stripes 

Posted in:  gray wolf/canis lupus, Positive Wolf News

Tags:  Wolfpark Werner Freund, living with wolves,  wolves in Germany

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