Saving The Big Bad Wolf – I

wolf in the wild

“Want to see wolves in the wild?” my friend excitedly asked me one February morning.

Wolves, in the wild! That was not my idea of fun at all, especially when it was minus 10 degrees outside. After much persuasion, I reluctantly agreed.

We soon head towards Lakota Wolf preserve in Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey. I wonder why anyone would want to protect the scary bad wolf. The “red riding hood” story has given them quite a bad name, hasn’t it?

We reach just in time for the first “wolf watch” tour of the day. Overcast clouds make the jungle before me even more grey and ominous. The trees are tall and bare. The snow is difficult to walk on. I spot a wolf pacing a few feet away, eyeing us warily. Its gray and white coat blends well with the surroundings. Its pricked ears seem to catch our conversation. Suddenly it bares its neat row of canines, making me back away. Luckily a double fencing separates us.

wolf with pricked ears

Our tour guide, Jim Stein arrives shortly and opens a small gate in the fence. He towers over most as he leads us between the trees further up a narrow path. I notice more wolves on either side, emerging from behind the trees and bushes. Stroking his beard, he assures us of the fencing’s strength. I feel brave enough to peer back at the wolves. There’s a pair of cubs nuzzling up to their mother. They look like balls of white wool!

“They won’t hurt you unless you mean them harm!” I hear Jim  begin.

During the next hour, Jim talks only about the wolves and their lives. At one point, he enters the enclosure and calls them by their names, strokes their heads and feeds them medicines with bare hands. The wolves purr back their appreciation. So, are the “big bad wolf” preying little girls, actually a myth? Here was Jim interacting so easily with them like pets.

By the end of the tour I was so intrigued, I decide to interview Jim. I just had to know the story behind this venture. And Jim told me quite an amazing one.

Catch the next part of the story on Kinooze.

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