The Wolf That Changed America | Wolf Wars: America's Campaign to Eradicate the Wolf | Nature | PBS
PDF | We examine the historical relationship between humans and wolves as Based on stories and images recorded by Native Americans and Europeans. Wolf Wars: America's Campaign to Eradicate the Wolf the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans incorporated wolves into European Americans, however, simply despised wolves. . What's Your Connection to Nature?. Trace the evolution of the gray wolf and its controversial relationship with human beings. This allowed some groups of Caninae to move into Europe, then Asia, Native Americans lived with and hunted wolves long before.
Wolves in folklore, religion and mythology
Many, including celebrated painter and naturalist John James Audubon, believed wolves ought to be eradicated for the threat they posed to valuable livestock. This attitude enabled a centuries-long extermination campaign that nearly wiped out the gray wolf in the continental United States by Origins of Wolf Hatred In the New World, two top predators — wolves and men — that otherwise would have avoided each other clashed over livestock.
Wolves and Men in America, Jon T. Wolves had a ghostly presence in colonial landscapes. Settlers heard howls, but they rarely spotted their serenaders. The fearsome beasts avoided humans. People frightened them, and colonists knew this: But that space closed when European colonists brought horses, cattle, sheep and pigs with them over the perilous journey across the Atlantic. Without these animals — sources of food and transportation for the European settlers — the colonies would have failed.
But because most early colonial communities were small, livestock often grazed on the periphery of the settlements with little protection. Their pastures abutted and bled into the wild, exposing the animals to hungry wolves in search of prey. Wolves quickly learned that docile cattle and sheep made easy meals. Suddenly, colonists found their livelihoods in danger, and they lashed out at wolves, both with physical violence and folklore that ensured wolf hatred would be passed down from one generation to the next.
Amateur and Professional Wolf Baiting The campaign to eradicate wolves in North America began with private landowners and farmers baiting and trapping wolves.
Often, colonists turned wolf baiting into both sport and protection for their livestock. Coleman describes an incident that took place in the winter of deep in the Ohio River Valley, in which John James Audubon assists a farmer as he mutilates trapped wolves. The violence Audubon witnessed, however, did not shock him. Further west, in Yellowstone National Park, wolf baiting and hunting had become a lucrative profession.
In states like New Mexico where cattle ranching was big business, ranchers responded by turning to professional wolfers and bounty hunters. Wolves were trapped, shot, dug from their dens, and hunted with dogs. Poisoned animal carcasses were left out for wolves, a practice that also killed eagles, ravens, foxes, bears, and other animals that fed on the tainted carrion.
Inthe federal government established the U. Bureau of Biological Survey, initially chartered to research insects and birds. Inthe U. Forest Service acquiesced to the stockowners and enlisted the help of the Bureau of Biological Survey to clear cattle ranges of gray wolves. Wolves were generally revered by Aboriginal Canadians that survived by hunting, but were thought little of by those that survived through agriculture.
Some Alaska Natives including the Nunamiut of both northern and northwestern Alaska respected the wolf's hunting skill and tried to emulate the wolf in order to hunt successfully. First Nations such as Naskapi as well as Squamish and Lil'wat view the wolf as a daytime hunting guide. The Netsilik Inuit and Takanaluk-arnaluk believed that the sea-woman Nuliayuk's home was guarded by wolves.
Wolves were feared by the Tsilhqot'inwho believed that contact with wolves would result in nervous illness or death. According to the Pawnee creation myth, the wolf was the first creature to experience death. Upon being freed from the bag, the humans killed the wolf, thus bringing death into the world.
Native Americans have long seen the wolf as an animal of power.
Many tribes credit the actual creator of the earth to be a wolf. The Arikara and Ojibwe believed a wolfman spirit made the Great Plains for them and for other animals. Many tribes consider wolves to be closely related to humans. The Navajo tribe was known for performing healing ceremonies where they would call upon wolves to restore health to their ill.
Wolves were admired for their superb hunting skills. Prayers were offered in honor of wolves before they went out of hunting excursions. Before battles, Apache warriors would pray, sing, and dance to gain the teamwork, strength, and bravery of wolves. The Pawnee, being both an agricultural and hunting people, associated the wolf with both corn and the bison; the "birth" and "death" of the Wolf Star Sirius was to them a reflection of the wolf's coming and going down the path of the Milky Way known as Wolf Road.
The Navajo tribe feared taboo-breaking witches nearly always male in wolves' clothing called yee naaldlooshii, literally "with it, he goes on all fours".
There is a story that was pushed around as Cherokee legend, Two Wolves  that is often referenced in media but actually has ties to Christian-style parables that was told by Minister Billy Graham and actually mentioned, specifically, eskimo and because it's been attributed to the Cherokee- the one that goes around the Cherokee world has a deeper meaning and negates the "GOOD" VS "EVIL" trope . In Cherokee beliefs, there was a clan called the wolf people. They would never kill a wolf, believing the spirit of the slain wolf would revenge its death.
The Cherokee also believed that if a hunter showed respect and prayed before and after killing an animal such as a deer, a wolf, a fox, or an opossum would guard his feet against frostbite. The Tewa tribe believed that wolves held the powers of the east and were one of the zenith power-medicine animals. Chechen wolf The wolf is a national symbol of Chechnya.
In the New TestamentJesus is quoted to have used wolves as illustrations to the dangers His followers would have faced should they follow him Matthew By this perspective, nature was only acceptable if controlled by man. Francis of Assisiwho was living in Gubbio at the time took pity on the townsfolk, and went up into the hills to find the wolf.
Meaning of Wolf Essay
Soon fear of the animal had caused all his companions to flee, but the saint pressed on and when he found the wolf he made the sign of the cross and commanded the wolf to come to him and hurt no one. Miraculously the wolf closed his jaws and lay down at the feet of St. Because the wolf had "done evil out of hunger" the townsfolk were to feed the wolf regularly, and in return, the wolf would no longer prey upon them or their flocks.
In this manner Gubbio was freed from the menace of the predator. Francis, ever the lover of animals, even made a pact on behalf of the town dogs, that they would not bother the wolf again. In Canto I of Dante 's Infernothe pilgrim encounters a she-wolf blocking the path to a hill bathed in light. The she-wolf represents the sins of concupiscence and incontinence. She is prophecised by the shade of Virgil to one day be sent to Hell by a greyhound.
Much of the symbolism Jesus used in the New Testament revolved around the pastoral culture of Israel, and explained his relationship with his followers as analogous to that of a good shepherd protecting his flock from wolves. An innovation in the popular image of wolves started by Jesus includes the concept of the wolf in sheep's clothingwhich warns people against false prophets. It appeared in the seventh century edition of the Physiologuswhich infused pagan tales with the spirit of Christian moral and mystical teaching.
The Physiologus portrays wolves as being able to strike men dumb on sight, and of having only one cervical vertebra. Dante included a she-wolf, representing greed and fraudin the first canto of the Inferno.