Seven Steps to Escalation: A Scientist Warns: Wolves Kill People

Wolves kill sheep in central Züsedom, wolves walk in a circle near Ueckermünde, wolves eat calves in Krackow: Animals and people in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania currently have problems with wolves almost every day. Canadian scholar Valerius Geest was not surprised by the wolf.

If people don’t fight back, the wolves will prevail, he says. The 83-year-old biologist has assumed throughout his career that wolves cannot be dangerous to humans. When he moved into his retirement home on Vancouver Island, he learned otherwise through his own account. He saw wolves killing dogs, chasing his neighbors, surrounding his wife, and ultimately himself.

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According to the scientist, the fact that wolves appear to be so harmless is simply due to the fact that they have practically exterminated since the early twentieth century and that the people of Canada have always been well armed. Hunters, forest workers, surveyors, prospectors, hunters, truck drivers and other professional groups kill the wolves before they cause damage. Valerius Geist said: “Woe to the wolf that has appeared.”

Not an attack out of thin air

The world is convinced that if humans do not defend themselves, wolves will attack. Of course, wolf attacks on farm animals or even humans do not happen suddenly. Instead, such attacks precede various stages of habituation to humans, the biologist explains. Describes a scale with seven clearly identifiable stages before a wolf attacks a person: “Seven stages of habituation,” Seven stages of habituation or Seven steps of escalation.

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According to Russian Canadian roots, the first signs are roe deer, deer, and other prey. If they are increasingly found in villages or towns, they do so because they are wolf fleeing. Animals flee from jungle to city for fear of wolf. Quite a few wild boars currently live in Greifswald.

In the second stage, wolves approach human dwellings mainly at night, according to the theory of Valerius Geist. This can be recognized, among other things, by the barking of dogs or the howling of a wolf tirelessly. They monitor people and quickly learn how far they can go. At the end of last year, a wolf’s howl was heard in Karwitz in the Mecklenburg Lake District.

According to Valerius Geest, the third stage begins when wolves also show themselves during the day. This is currently the case almost every day in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. They watch people do their daily chores and simply watch them learn, for example, even how to open the garden gates.

At the fourth level, they attack in the immediate vicinity of houses

In the fourth stage, according to Valerius Geest, wolves can no longer be overlooked. They attack dogs and farm animals even during the day, even if they are in the immediate vicinity of homes. They come to patios and gardens. Last year, a family in Vogelsang and Warsen in Vorpommern-Greifswald photographed a wolf in their garden. Humans are not yet the target of attacks at this point, but they are threatened with waste or exposing their teeth.

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The fifth level is even more blatant. In this stage, for example, the riders are either moved and chased or large farm animals such as cattle are injured. They are found with torn ears, tails cut in half, or mutilated genitals. According to Valerius Geest, it can happen that a wolf looks through the living room window.

Stage VI is reached when wolves appear to be domesticated in a human’s immediate vicinity. They push the prams with their noses, or they pull their clothes or pinch their arms at times. They can be driven away by shouting and waving, but they don’t run away far. Everything seems hilarious. In fact, they are just starting to spot humans as prey and test how they would react to attacks.

At the seventh level, according to Valerius Geest, the height of the escalation had been reached. Now wolves have finally lost their fear of humans. Even though they are still a little clumsy, a person might still be able to defend himself against a single wolf, but even an armed man shouldn’t stand a chance against an entire flock.

It has been underestimated for centuries

According to Valerius Geest, wolves have been underestimated by scientists and politicians for the past 100 years. Wolves kill people, but no such incidents have been reported. For example, 24-year-old wildlife biologist Trisha Wayman was killed on April 18, 1996 by a group of captive wolves in Ontario. She was offered the dream job of caring for wolves and researching their behavior. She survived three days. You and the people around you must have been completely permeated into the myth of the harmless wolf, ” wrote Valerius Geest.

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In July 2002, Scott Lavigne was seriously injured and taken to hospital. He was a rowing in the Canadian province of British Columbia and did not take the exploration tours seriously. A thin old wolf attacked him with broken teeth. He stabbed her nine times with a four-inch knife. This didn’t kill them, but it drove them away. The 31-year-old refused to be interviewed because he feared that wolves would take a bad rap.

Valerius Geist was born in 1938. He is a biologist and professor of environmental sciences at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

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