Kinship with the Wolf: The Amazing Story of the Woman Who Lives with Wolves

Kinship with the Wolf: The Amazing Story of the Woman Who Lives with Wolves

by Tanja Askani
     
 

Tanja Askani reveals the wolf as a highly intelligent, social, sensitive creature that brings inestimable value to healthy natural systems. This stigmatized predator is one part of our natural world whose value and wisdom we are just beginning to understand. Askani demonstrates a new way of relating to wolves and to the world as a whole.See more details below

Overview

Tanja Askani reveals the wolf as a highly intelligent, social, sensitive creature that brings inestimable value to healthy natural systems. This stigmatized predator is one part of our natural world whose value and wisdom we are just beginning to understand. Askani demonstrates a new way of relating to wolves and to the world as a whole.

Editorial Reviews

Marc Bekoff
“Wolves are the poster animals for showing just how complex our relationships with other animals can be. If these magnificent beasts could read, they’d love this book.”
Nancy Bent
“. . . great insight into the world of the wolf. . . . the charming, diary-like writing style and the plethora of color close-ups of the wolves will enchant wolf lovers.”
Barbara Hoffert
“This is not a scientific treatise but a warm and carefully observed portrait of one woman's efforts to change our perceptions of the sadly reviled wolf. The numerous photographs—close up, striking, and informative—will make animal lovers weak in the knees."
co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for th Marc Bekoff
“Wolves are the poster animals for showing just how complex our relationships with other animals can be. If these magnificent beasts could read, they’d love this book.”
From the Publisher
“. . . great insight into the world of the wolf. . . . the charming, diary-like writing style and the plethora of color close-ups of the wolves will enchant wolf lovers.”

“This is not a scientific treatise but a warm and carefully observed portrait of one woman's efforts to change our perceptions of the sadly reviled wolf. The numerous photographs—close up, striking, and informative—will make animal lovers weak in the knees."

“Wolves are the poster animals for showing just how complex our relationships with other animals can be. If these magnificent beasts could read, they’d love this book.”

Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
With stunning photographs on slick paper and anecdotes about individual wolves, the reader is given a new way to understand wolves. Instead of relating the wolf to Little Red Riding Hood, the reader learns that other cultures see the wolf as a companion for the soul in death. Wolf populations in European countries are counted and are moving toward extinction. The writer raised baby wolves and acclimated them to a zoo in Germany where three different wolf packs are maintained: European gray wolves, gray timber wolves, and white tundra wolves. Through anecdotes we see that wolves have feelings, have a cohesive relationship in the pack, and relate to humans and other animals. Wolves and ravens often have a symbiotic relationship as hunters. Dogs have been crossed with wolves to produce a breed of wolfhounds. Wolves have sharp ears, bushy tails, prefer to howl instead of bark, and have great speed and stamina. When given proper respect for their instinctive predatory nature, they can be enjoyed for the intelligent animals they are.
Library Journal
Like Helene Grimaud's Wild Harmonies: A Life of Music and Wolves (LJ 8/06), this work is a woman's first-person account of her close association with your family dog's magnificent forebears. The Czech-born Askani is more straightforward than Grimaud but equally affecting as she recounts her work with the wolf pack she established at Germany's Luneburger Heide Wildlife Preserve. Readers join her as she rears tundra wolf pup Flocke (with the help of her wirehaired pointer), introduces Flocke to Chinook, sees Flocke through a failed pregnancy and Chinook through a final illness, and introduces other pups to the pack. Throughout, she addresses important issues like the wolf's currently limited range, the dangers of wolf-dog interbreeding, interspecies relationships, pack dynamics, and what she has learned about wolves from running, swimming, and howling with her pack (no matter what scientists think, these creatures do come when called). This is not a scientific treatise but a warm and carefully observed portrait of one woman's efforts to change our perceptions of the sadly reviled wolf. The numerous photographs-close up, striking, and informative-will make animal lovers weak in the knees. An excellent addition to popular natural history collections in public libraries and accessible to YAs as well.-Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594771309
Publisher:
Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date:
12/15/2006
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
1,515,084
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author

Tanja Askani has been bonding with animals since she was a child. She established the first wolf pack in the Lüneburger Heide Wildlife Preserve in 1998 and continues to care for its wolf packs in addition to many other animals. She lives in Germany.

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Read an Excerpt

NANUK

Flocke and Chinook get along outstandingly well, and I very much hope that they will finally have pups. Unfortunately, the wolf pack doesn’t exactly appear to be savvy when it comes to mating, and so the den remains empty this spring, to my great disappointment. At nine years old, Chinook is probably getting too old to produce offspring.

After long deliberation, I decide to enlarge our little wolf pack by one member. In case anything should happen to Chinook, Flocke would then have a new companion with whom she is already familiar. I decide to get a young male and raise him on a bottle to get him used to people. In this way it will be easier to integrate the pup into the existing tame pack without fear or shyness.

The second wolf pack, into which Flocke was born a few years ago, has pups again this spring. When they are a week old, the veterinarian checks their health. During their examination, they are wormed, immunized, and marked with electronic chips. We pick the strongest male out of the litter, and his siblings remain in the pack so the female can raise them herself.

We name the little pup Nanuk, which means “polar bear” in the Inuit language. From the beginning, Nanuk is of a totally different caliber from the once deathly ill little Flocke. As a young pup, he has big character differences that can already be distinguished. At four weeks, Nanuk leaves our house and wants to stay in the yard. We install an electric fence in order to make our property escape-proof. From now on, Nanuk spends the days in the yard; evenings, I shut him on the porch, where he is protected from the wind and rain. The dog, Senta, avoids him. She wants nothing to do with him. Raising one wolf is enough for one dog’s life.

For company, the pup enlists our two-year-old female dachshund Drossel day and night. Nanuk is five weeks old and exactly the right size for Drossel. They romp and play around the clock; to sleep, they lie crowded together in the dog basket. Nanuk continues to receive his little bottle from me. Once, when he spits out a handful of dachshund hair after drinking his milk, it becomes clear to me how brave Drossel must be when they play. In less than two weeks the dog saves herself from Nanuk on the safe height of the table in the yard. It is interesting that the little wolf doesn’t show any aggression toward me at this age as Flocke did. Thus my earlier supposition is confirmed. With Flocke, the dog Senta took on the role of mother. She protected and nursed the little wolf around the clock. Since I was constantly nearby, Flocke categorized me as one of her siblings. With Nanuk, I adopt the role of mother, and Drossel is the “wolf sister.”

Admission to the Pack
It’s actually quite unusual that a little pup would trust itself so far away from its “mother den,” but our sterile yard apparently has become too dull for Nanuk. It is now high time to introduce him to the pack. I’m aware that this undertaking is not without danger. If something goes wrong, Nanuk could be killed with a single bite. Tensions can build up among the wolves in the enclosure and it would be possible—though inexplicable to us—for the pack members to react angrily to him.

Both Flocke and Chinook have already gotten to know Nanuk indirectly. Since the pup has lived in our house, they have inspected me very carefully every time I visit their enclosure. Flocke, in particular, sniffs me very intensely every time—concentrating on my hands, my lap, and my shirt—and can hardly tear herself away. What could she be thinking? Indeed, as alpha female, she made very certain during the mating season that no one but she could get pregnant. I had to avoid her, and now I appear with a pup. She probably no longer understands the world.

To prevent every possible risk, the first real meeting is arranged to occur on neutral ground. We go for a walk together. For the experienced Chinook, it’s love at first sight. He already had pups once with his earlier partner, so he knows right away what is to be done. He immediately follows Nanuk step by step and never lets him out of his sight. Flocke, in contrast, is somewhat awkward and appears not to know what to do with Nanuk. Her feelings seem mixed. On the one hand, she submits herself to him; on the other, she jumps up immediately and tries to get out of his way when he comes too close to her. We have to take many walks together before I can be certain that Flocke has fully accepted the little one.

In the meantime, to gradually get Nanuk used to the enclosure, I take him there for a couple of hours in the afternoons. Compared to our yard it is a paradise for him: a big pond to splash in, holes to hide in, feathers and bones to play with, and most important of all, two wolves available for every form of entertainment. Despite all of this, at first Nanuk welcomes my return in the late afternoon to pick him up and take him home. He’s so tired from playing that he falls asleep in my arms on the way. But it doesn’t take much longer before he feels on top of the world in the enclosure. I decide to leave him with his new family.

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