10 things we can learn from wolves
This week we look at 10 things we can learn from wolves, they’re pretty smart really.
Many of you fans of wolves out there will passionately believe in their magnificence. Which is why it’s so damn frustrating seeing them shown as monsters in the media. ‘Savage predators’ they say. ‘Will attack at a any chance they get’ they say. But in reality, away from our TV screens, wolves are actually very shy and spend most of their time hidden away from humans.
Instead of fearing the big bad wolf, we should pay attention to them, and learn from their wonderful ways. Apparently, early humans noticed how successful wolves are as a species, and decided to adapt some of their behaviours around wolf pack mentality. All hail the wolf!
Many thoughtless humans seem set on doing whatever they like without any thought, which is bad news for our precious planet. Wolves are very efficient, they take what they need and help the areas where they live to thrive.
They’re a crucial part of the food chain, keeping numbers of their prey in check and restoring the natural balance. Take Yellowstone National Park for example, which is the perfect example of how wolves can teach us about the effect large carnivores have on an ecosystem.
‘Since wild wolves have returned to Yellowstone, the elk and deer are stronger, the aspens and willows are healthier and the grasses taller.’ (missionwolf.org)
If you are lucky enough to witness a wolf pack in action, you will instantly admire their zest for life, pack mentality and respect for the natural world. Here’s 10 things we can learn from one of the most incredible predators on earth.
Don’t take more than you need
If only us humans took a page from the wolf book (no, not Red Riding Hood). We’re far too greedy, and wolves are anything but greedy. Research has shown that wolves only take what they need. They’re opportunistic, sure, but when food is scarce, wouldn’t you be? Every action they take has a reason behind it. And when they do make a kill, nothing goes to waste. If we were even a tiny bit as resourceful as wolves are, perhaps we wouldn’t be destroying our planet quite so much.
Respect your elders
We should pay more attention to the hierarchy of a wolf pack. Wolves have a deep respect for their elders, and although pups will test the boundaries, they ultimately learn their place and do as they are told. The same can’t be said for many of their human counterparts! Kids get away with all sorts these days. A raging tantrum certainly wouldn’t go down well in a wolf pack! Now there’s something for human kids to sink their teeth into…(pun intended)
Teamwork makes the dreamwork
A wolf pack is the ultimate team. The are top of the premier league of animal packs and groups. If an NFL team mimicked some of their tactics, they’d win every time. There aren’t many other animals that can rival the power and intelligence of a wolf pack.
Wolves know that working together, rather than against each other, gets optimum results. Us humans would benefit from working together towards a common cause more, like saving the planet for example….sigh.
‘If humans could react to controversy or conflict in the same way wolves did, we may see a higher incidence of co-operation and a lower incidence of poor productivity due to hurt feelings or feelings of resentment.’ Jess Edberg, International Wolf Center
You can be a lone wolf, and survive
Sometimes, wolves get cast away from the pack, and have to learn to survive solo. For real. Harsh but true. And some individuals cope well and survive just fine on their own. Us humans don’t always have to follow the crowd, we should think independently more and seek solitude from our over complicated world. We should learn to be at ease with who we are, and be strong enough to follow our own path.
Live in the moment
Wolves, like their domesticated cousins (a.k.a dogs) live in the moment. Do they plan ahead? Sure, but they also focus on what’s happening in front of them. Humans dwell far too much on the past, and let life’s distractions (a.k.a technology and mobile phones) steal moments from us.
Work hard, play hard
Wolves do everything it takes to survive, and will up to 30 miles a day, covering huge areas. If times are tough, they all pitch in and fight to survive. But when life’s sweet, wolves also know how to have fun and enjoy the world they live in. They will play together and have fun. It’s far too easy for us humans to get caught up in work and the stresses of life, but we should also make time for rest, relaxation and fun.
Communication is key
If you observe wolf behaviour, you will see they have fine tuned communication skills. They communicate via howls, barks, body language and even their sense of smell, leaving scented messages. If we humans made an effort to communicate better in times of strife, perhaps we wouldn’t cause so much destruction.
Know your place in the world
From a young age, wolf pups know their place in the world. Every wolf has a specific role in the pack, and they know exactly what that entails. A wolf pack has a strict social hierarchy and is usually lead by an alpha male, there’s also the beta, omega and several other roles. Sometimes it’s easy to lose our place in the world. It would be much easier if we knew who we were and why we were put on the planet, but discovering and embracing this is all part of our journey.
Learn how to cope in harsh environments
Thanks to global warming and the mess we’re making of our planet, in just a few decades, we could be living in harsher and more extreme environments. We could most certainly benefit from studying wolves and how they manage to adapt to some of the planet’s toughest habitats. Wolves can be found living in more places in the world than any other mammal.
Share the load
Everything is so much easier when you share the load. It lessens the burden on each individual and helps achieve greater good. Wolves are pros at sharing the load, thanks to their epic teamwork skills. If more people helped towards saving the planet and living more sustainably, we would achieve so much more.
‘The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.’
If seeing wolves in their natural habitat is on your bucket list check out some of the tours where you can get up close and personal
Experience the wild side of Sweden on this thrilling tour, enhancing your wildlife knowledge as you go.
Head into the wilds of the Southern Alps, tracking wolves who have began to repopulate the area after being hunted to extinction in the 1930’s.