“Look at those mangy dogs.” I must have heard that same phrase at least 10 times yesterday. I visited my old stomping grounds yesterday, a zoo where I spent many an hour working as a Docent and Guide. There is a wolf exhibit there, visitors can peer through glass upon the open land where wolves wander and rest in the shade during a summer afternoon. Parents telling their children to look at the mangy dogs, not telling of the wonder of such beings………..
It was a plethora of emotions for me, being back there. The one thing I missed most was the early morning howls of the wolf pack……so ethereal and haunting. Yesterday, I had my grandson in his stroller with me. We were sitting in the wolf enclosure when the tiny hairs on my neck started lifting. I could feel something was about to happen……I watched all the wolves gather by the glass and begin their howl. Then, the stampede of humans began……squeezing in toward the glass, beginning their mimicking howls. So boisterous, it drowned out the haunting melody of the wolves. I could not take photos, the care of my grandson was my priority; but just listening to the howls would have helped soothe my photographic heart’s disappointment.. But alas, instead I heard screams and howls, not from within the glass encampment, but from outside.
Once, the she wolf in me had to attack. People started cramming within inches of my grandchild’s stroller, my voice soon overtook the others as I warned, “Watch the baby!”………I would have done what any wolf would do if someone threatened his safety.
Yesterday’s news was disturbing for the wolf. A zookeeper in Sweden was mauled to death as she entered the wolf enclosure. This is rare; but it can happen. We may never know what human error set this unfortunate attack in place. I think the zoo policy of letting just one keeper in with only a radio contact is an error in judgement.
Yesterday, as I sat there watching the howls of the onlookers and the comments of the crowd and the pushing and shoving to gain front row seats to the perfomance……….I wondered who were the mangy dogs………
The furry beings so exquisitely eloquent in their communal song, or the furless ones vying for leader of the pack position……….