Wolves have been a big issue in Denmark for several months now – for the first time in 200 years we now have wolves living in our little country – two of them to be exact. But unfortunately all the loonies have started to come out of the woodwork as well. Some people seem to have their knowledge of wolves from the tales of the Brothers Grimm, and we have been subjected to all kinds of paranoid and hysterical ramblings from people who are now too frightened to take a walk in their local wood, from politicians who are certain the wolves have been released by biologists as part of some kind of underhanded scheme to suppress people living in rural areas. An organization has even started to collect signatures to get the government to sanction killing the wolves.
The latest is “anonymous” hunters declaring that when the deer hunting season starts in a couple of weeks, the wolves will not be a problem, as they will shoot them on sight. They are even bragging about two wolves that have allegedly already been shot and buried quietly. Unfortunately stupidity is not illegal in this country, but they even have the audacity to say that the wolves have been shot as an act of compassion – this is based on a photo of one of the wolves taken by an automatic camera a few weeks ago showing a wolf shedding its winter coat. “This wolf is clearly severely debilitated by mange, so we are in fact doing it a favour by shooting it.”
This one is only sleeping in the sun by the way.
Oh yes – and of course there is also an element of “them and us”. Them being people like me living in the capital, and not knowing a thing about nature, unlike a certain group of farmers and other people living in rural areas who see themselves as the only people who truly understand what’s going on in nature, and who see themselves as living in pact with nature and the seasons. “How do you think it would be to live beside a ferocious predator like a wolf? some of them have shouted at me – you can of course if you like, exchange ferocious with bloodthirsty or something even more scary. I have even been told that if my child was eaten by a wolf I would be sorry that I hadn’t listened to those sane voices wanting the wolves to be killed as quickly as possible.
And to think I had this idea that the Middle Ages was long gone. Silly me!