Wolf researcher Shaun Ellis, best known for his “A Man Among Wolves” documentary film helps to teach a baby wolf how to howl!
When we brought Merlin home from the Wolf Rescue, he was already talking with the pack. But all babies have to learn how to communicate with their families. Wolves have a complex language with varying yips, yelps, barks, whines and of course howls. But even the howls aren’t all the same.
Like any baby a, wolf pup begins learning how to communicate with the pack as soon as it begins to recognize sound. Even though howling comes naturally to wolves, they still need to learn the subtle language of their pack. No different from a baby born in the U.S. or one born in France. We all have differences in the language we use to speak with others in our region or pack. All babies mimic their parents and I believe wolves are no different in that respect.
In this short clip Shaun Ellis explains how he helps a baby wolf with its first howl. Whether you respect Ellis or find his work dangerous (as some wolf researchers do), anyone who loves the wolf, loves to see them howl. Enjoy!
Baby Wolf’s First Lesson – YouTube.
Ellis has been criticized by other Wolf Experts for his documentary and books. His knowledge of wolves has come into question by some highly respected Wolf researchers. Not through personal knowledge in working with or visiting with Ellis, but through his commercial documentaries and books. He’s been criticized for not being an educated (as in academic institution) scientist or animal biologist as well.
I can’t help make a comparison between Ellis and his love of Wolves to that of one of my favorite people, Steve Irwin and his love of Crocodiles. Who was also criticized throughout his life for his interaction and “knowledge” of animals.
When someone is passionate about something, and they take the time to learn about it in various ways, they deserve the right to work for the cause they are drawn to help and protect. Which Ellis does, in my opinion. Are academic researchers without criticism? No. I’m sure if we could visit their work sites, we could also find complaints with their methods as well. There are many people who believe some wolf organizations interfere too much with wild wolf populations when it comes to vaccinations and other medical aid. If you’re going to place a wild wolf in the wild, let it be totally wild, they say.
I believe there’s a happy balance between all sides of this argument. No one is perfect and we can find criticism in all things if we look with ego. Perhaps looking at the shared commitment to preserve and protect the wolf is a better use of our time and efforts, than undermining each other.
On a side note:
In our house at the moment we have a litter of 1 dozen kittens who are just about ready to find new homes. Their big 2 year old brother, Pumpkin was upstairs in the loft sitting on his 3-Tiered kitty tree when I first played this clip.
Within a second of hearing the howl, Pumpkin began to growl. It was a serious growl. He quickly ran downstairs and looked for the source of the sound, but couldn’t figure out it was my laptop. Even though he had jumped to the back of my chair. He continued to growl through the duration of the clip. When it was over, he got down and began checking on all the babies to ensure they were ok.
It was such a cute, and a bit amazing display of fatherly protection for the kitty pride.
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