Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Do ingnorance and mis-information bring on fear?

I think I already know the answer.

The other day I was going to go to Glacier NP, to participate in a program where you go snow shoeing with a ranger. I had never snow shoed, snow shod, well walked on snow shoes before. I was looking forward to an afternoon of being in nature. Maybe fall on my dupa a few times, make some more snow angels, be in the moment.

At work earlier in the day, my co-worker said she wanted to ask me something, (she sounded all serious). She wanted to know if I was going to go alone. I said yep, up to Glacier anyway. I told her I would be going on a ranger led hike. Oh good she says, she was worried. She was afraid I would be attacked by wolves if I went alone. (I guess it would have been okay for me to go alone and be attacked by say a bear, or a mountain lion!)

I told her I worried more about bears. She said, bears wouldn't be a problem, because they hibernate. I told her that only the week before, I had gotten a pamphlet about bears when I went to Glacier. I told her in the pamphlet they showed bear tracks in the snow. I've read some info on bears. Bears would come up on the back porch where I lived in Wisconsin. From what I have learned, bears don't always hibernate, especially if there is enough food.

I told her I was more worried about mountain lions. I've seen shows where they have attacked skiers. I've heard on the news where they attack hikers, bicyclists and anyone else that is fair game. She agreed mountain lions are a worry.

I told her wolves don't attack people. She said, "Oh yes they do!" I told her that in the research I have done on wolves, there has not been a case of a healthy wolf attacking a human. She said we wouldn't talk about it anymore.

I guess I should point out that my co-worker had participated in the anti-wolf protest I wrote about in an earlier post. When she told me she had participated, she apologized. I guess she was apologizing for having a different view. A different opinion. I don't know. I did tell her no apology was necessary. I told her it is a wonderful thing that people have differing opinions. The world would be kind of boring if we all thought alike. I told her I would not apologize for my views. I am never sorry when I believe in things, that others don't.

I spent most of my life living in Chicago and its suburbs. Some call me city girl. What are ya gonna do? It's just a label. Again, I make no apologies. I spent some of my life living in Northern Wisconsin. There were wolves in Northern Wisconsin, but I was never honored to have seen one. I like to think I am chuck-full-o-common-sense. I am not going to leave my instincts (survival or otherwise) at the trail head and go charging into an area that might be teaming with predators. I told my co-worker that.

I have a respect and awe of all nature, all living things. If I don't know about them, and they interest me, I learn about them. There are plenty of research studies out there on any animal or living thing I want to learn about. And, I never tire of learning.

There are predators I worry about more. The two legged kind. The ones that believe in mis-information, and ignorance. Those are the ones that seem to become fearful of things they don't know, or understand.

Oh, I didn't go to Glacier that day. Don't ya know winter finally arrived in the valley. I didn't want to chance driving in the blizzard like conditions.


Fram said...

The last I was aware, your comment about no instances of a healthy wolf attacking a person is accurate.

People do need to read more facts and fewer fairy tales, and I, personally, feel safer in wolf country than I do in most metropolitan areas.

its_me_in_montana said...

I know a guy that released a wolf from a trap. The wolf had only been caught by its nail, but laid down to wait for "help", rather than risk injuring itself. The wolf was released without incident.

True that.