Posts Tagged ‘domestic dog’

Wolves Deserve Better

April 4th, 2010

It’s always struck me as amazing what bad press wolves get, and how little they’ve done to deserve it! The number of wolf attacks on people is miniscule, and these are usually linked with rabid individuals. It’s ironic that while we’ve sought to eliminate wolves from wherever they may come into contact with us, so we’ve taken their descendant, in the guise of the domestic dog, to all four corners of the globe. In some instances, people have then literally depended on dogs for their survival.

Anyone who has been to Rome will know the legend about two twins, called Romulus and Remus, who were the illegitimate twins of the god Mars and the vestal virgin Rhea. Unwanted, they were hurled into the River Tiber where it was presumed they would drown.

The current carried them ashore in a remote spot however, and their cries then attracted a female wolf. Rather than killing the babies, she carried them back to a cave which overlooked the locality of Rome, and suckled them. They stayed with her until rescued by a shepherd, and then founded the city here.

This tale is very easily dismissed as a myth, but in fact, there are over fifty recorded cases of both wolves and feral dogs caring for abandoned children. Some, especially from India are surprisingly well-documented.

Such reports include the case of two girls rescued in the 1920s by a Dr. Singh, who ran an orphanage in Mindapore and was alerted to their presence in the area by villagers who had observed the children with the wolves. The youngsters displayed distinctive wolf-like behaviour, which included walking on all fours and lapping up water. The natural world is not as ordered as people frequently believe to be the case ….