I am going on a woodland walk with a pack of grey wolves, and I am wondering whether you have any tips for me on how to avoid being eaten by them?
Now I have heard it all. You are actually volunteering to spend time with these creatures? I can’t quite believe it. The best way to avoid being eaten by wolves is to AVOID THE WOLVES WHEREVER POSSIBLE. To me, one of the advantages of living where we do is that there are no wolves – foxes don’t really bother us that much, and our humans don’t have a sheepdog, so canines of all types don’t really feature in our lives very much. We do have Brandy the farm dog, of course, who I actually like very much, but even she does freak us out slightly sometimes. We know it’s her, we know she’s friendly, but every now and then one of us will catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of our eyes, and then we get a reflexive thought of ‘WOLF!!’ That fear runs around the flock like wildfire, and we are all very scared for a moment before we realise that it’s her.
I don’t know how to persuade you to give up on the idea, Jennie, but just in case you are determined to go through with this folly, here is some advice. I have (fortunately) never had to put this to the test, but it is something which is very deep in our psyches and we know what to do by instinct. The first thing you need to do is to know where the wolf is – so always stay alert. It is worthwhile getting everyone in your flock to be on the alert so that you have as many sets of eyes as possible looking out for danger. When you see a wolf, it is vital to understand that there will be others around too – and the ones you don’t see are the ones which will get you. You will easily be able to tell whether the wolf is hungry or not – if it is just trotting along and ignoring you, you are probably safe, but it is as well to keep away from it anyway. Make sure you keep it at a good distance so that if it changes its mind and starts to run, you have enough of a head-start to get away. If the wolf is staring at you, and stalking you, it is essential that you DO NOT FREEZE. That way, it will get you for sure. Make sure that the flock is bunched together closely. That makes it harder for the wolf to single out a target. Keep the lambs in the middle. If the wolf attacks, then you need to do whatever you have to in order to survive. Run, kick, butt, and make sure that you don’t run in a straight line, because wolves are very fast like that but can’t turn corners quite so quickly. I would definitely recommend that you should take a llama with you on your walk, since they are very fierce and apparently can kill big predators like coyotes. On one occasion where we were chased by a little dog, our human got in between us and the dog (she’s very brave) and protected us, but I’m not sure whether that would work for a wolf.
You can try to scare or intimidate the wolf by stamping at it and puffing up your fleece to make yourself look big – this can scare dogs away, so might work on a wolf. But the best defence of all is – just don’t go where there are wolves. Good luck.