Octavia’s Blog on SWELL Wolf Education Centre


KEEPERS OF BALANCE

 

AN EXPERIENCE WITH TUNDRA, NAHANNI & MAHIKAN

Today, was a day like no other. Well, I can say that for everyday of my life because, everyday is different, but today was unlike any other because, today I met one of my childhood heroes, The Wolf. Three Wolves to be exact.
Tundra, Mahikan, and Nahanni are there names. Mahikan is the Cree word for Wolf, which was quite fitting, if I do say so. 
Ever since I was little I loved Wolves, never really fully understanding them, just really appreciating what they were on this planet. The Keepers of Balance. 
My Father, use to read to me the book White Fang by Jack London, when I was 6 years old, and I grew up with the cartoon The Legend of White Fang as well, I would watch that show religiously, and always cringed when commercials came on. Ha ha ha. Penny and White Fang, were always having such amazing adventures. I can recall getting upset whenever the people of the Northern Yukon village, would try to hurt or hunt White Fang, only because he was severely mis-understood or different, and what they saw as a threat, because he was a wolf-dog, he was wild after all. Today I met three wolf-dogs (90% wolf to be exact) that were the most curious, and most intuitive animals I have ever met. Which really put that fear to shame. They are wild animals yes, but you are more likely to be killed by a Deer, than a Wolf, how ironic huh?
I had a big love for wolves when I was young, that I also read Call of the Wild, and a favorite, Never Cry Wolf, written by Farley Mowatt. You could say wolves have been around me in some form or another my whole life, (up unto this point in time anyways.) Wolves and Big Cats of course. As a youngster I studied Wolves and Big Cats, like they were going out of style, and for the first time today I got to meet Wolves in person.
It was an experience like no other, and filled with so much knowledge of these beautiful  creatures.

Mahikan, I was really quite fond of, her eyes were so captivating, like fire that pierced into your soul. You could tell she kept a very close eye on you. I felt my heart beat deep within my chest, whenever our eyes would meet.

 
 
 
 

     Pictured: Mahikan 
                                   “To look into the eyes of a wolf, is to see your own soul.”


Wolves are such intelligent, sentient beings, they can tell what you are thinking, before you think it, they are always one step ahead.
Mahikan, kept a very watchful eye on my youngest son, through the fence, but what might she have been thinking? Lunch? Or just a deep curiosity of who he was? Only she knows.
While visiting, we got to feed the Wolves a little snack of chicken. That in itself was intense, as once you would slip the meat through the fence, you had to be so careful not to get your fingers chomped off. They would snatch that meat out of your fingers, faster than you can say Wolf.
Every movement, every look, was magical. The sheer power and smarts in these animals, is like no other.

       

  

      Pictured: Nahanni

Why I refer to these animals as the Keepers of Balance, is because once they are introduced to certain areas, things begin to change. (Which totally off topic for a moment, everything at one point or another was an invasive species-just some food for thought).
We watched a short video called “How Wolves Change Rivers”, where they re-introduced Wolves back into the eco-system of Yellowstone National Park, where once upon a time, Gray Wolves were the Apex predator of those lands. But they were killed off, by man, and the Elk that roamed there took over, and not in the good way. They wiped out so much of the grassland, by the copious amount of grazing they did, nothing had a chance to really grow. Instead of the Elk being browsers, where they had to constantly keep an eye out for oncoming predators (i.e. Wolves) they became grazers, where they could feed on all the greens all around without having to worry about any threat, because the Wolves were gone. With the Elks being grazers a this point, what do you think happened to the eco-system? You guessed it, it started dying off. Eventually becoming what looked like a barren wasteland. But not all hope was lost. Something magical happened when they re-introduced the Wolves. They began to kill off the sick, old, and weak Elk, which because of all the grazing they did and no longer needing to browse, they were easy prey for the Wolves. With that change, the Grasslands were able to thrive once more. Which brought back a lot of Grassland dwellers like Rabbits, Mice, Foxes and Beavers, which brought back the birds of prey, life began to flourish again. The eco-system was brought back into balance, simply by bringing the Wolves back!
Don’t believe me? See for yourself –>LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q

As Gary would say, “when we take the keystone out of the middle of the arch, the whole thing will come falling down”,and it’s just that, that had happened when they wiped out the keystone predator, the Wolf. The safety of our eco-systems is so crucial! 
It’s like the Butterfly Effect, you can make one small change, and it can either make or destroy life. Like a pebble dropped in water, the ripples are the effect and usually those ripples do create a BIG effect, and it effects so many. The cycle/circle of life, we are all CONNECTED!

       Pictured: Douglas Fir
     
 “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

-Dr.Seuss   
 
Wolves and Humans once worked together, once upon a time. The First Nations always told amazing stories to tell of these amazing Spirits of the land. Once a hunter from a village had saved a Wolf from a trap, and to reciprocate their thanks, the Wolves helped feed the village. When the hunters would go out to hunt, the Wolves would chase the prey towards them, so that the hunters could make the kill. It was a very symbiotic relationship, between man and animal.
 

      Pictured: Tundra

My family and I learned so much about these truly intuitive creatures, everything from behavior, science, legends and, so much more. I was very tempted to howl, just to see if they would sing along with me. When you bond with a Wolf, you bond for Life, as it goes when they find a partner to make a family with. The Pack.

 
Watching Tundra, while we took her through the forest was a very joyful learning experience, as we could see first hand, how a Wolf would interact with it’s surroundings. The constant smelling with that powerful sniffer, that can smell things 2 KM away, the ears constantly listening to every sound, shifting and turning like little satellite dishes, picking up every signal, the eyes watching every movement, which nothing got past her sight. It was like our own personal Wolf Documentary. Tundra would see people coming, before we even knew anyone else was there. At times we had to be very wary of other dogs, as Tundra would be very cautious of them, as she would watch them with her deep eyes, as we kept our distance away as they would pass by.
At times she would get excited, and pull Gary along with her, as she would chase a fly, or just run because that’s something Wolves do best. It was thrilling to watch her get in tune with her inner Wolf pup. When we stopped at the water’s edge, Tundra would bat the water with her big paw, and then lap it up into her mouth. I was curious, why she did that. Was there something to it? Was she mixing up the nutrients of the soil under the water to get some added minerals? Or was she perhaps fooling around with the Salmon that swam by? It was a very curious experience. 
 
 
Speaking about Salmon, when a Bear or Wolf kills a Salmon, they will often eat the head and leave the rest, as the head contains all that they need in the brain and eyes. Often when they make the kill they will leave the carcass near a tree where the Salmon eventually decompose and becomes part of the Tree, part of the whole Forest, as they are great nutrients for all of the Tall People, again that Eco-system, the circle of Life, connecting to the World Wood Web, the Mycelium that connects everything together underground, that is how the Forest communicates to each other. I could go on about that amazing natural phenomena, but that will have to be a blog for another time. 
 
 
 
When Tundra would spot something, she would stop and stare with Eagle eye focus, that when the boys would pet her, it was as if she did not even feel it, because of how laser focused she was. I felt so safe walking in the woods with Tundra and Gary, because I knew that if there was any kind of threat, you bet she would already, see, hear, and smell it, before any of us would. As I said Wolves, are always one step ahead.
It was such a wonderful experience, to get a little taste of Wolf behavior, with Tundra in the forest today. A real walk on the wild side. AAOOOOOO! 
 
     Pictured: Gary Allan with Tundra
 
“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”
-Dr. Jane Goodall   
 
I am extremely grateful that Gary has created this Sanctuary for them, and has created a place for people from all over the world to come learn, and study these incredible beings.
Help save the eco-systems, through educating yourself, and doing what you can with every opportunity that comes.
Gary was such a joy to learn from, he is a well of knowledge on the treasures of our natural world. The smile on his face always showed when he talked about his passion, and it was a true honor to learn from him.
Thank you Gary, for being apart of the change, and for studying, and observing our wild Brothers and Sisters, so that you can share their deep wisdom and knowledge with others, so that we may understand better, and build a deeper awareness of the health and healing of our Mama Gaia.
 
“Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.” 
-David Suzuki           
 
For more information on what Gary does, and to come visit these glorious creatures, please visit www.whospeaksforwolf.com
Gary offers his teachings through donation, so that he can continue to teach, and help speak for the Wolves. He travels all over the island teaching at schools, events, and welcomes home school learners, and families, to come have a very educational experience.
Because without these powerful creatures, the balance will be lost. Thank you for being their voice, so that others may listen.
 
Help keep the balance alive!