South African Friends of Wolves (SAFOW) has been founded by a group of people who not only love wolves but are committed to their protection in general and the well-being of those kept in our country in particular.
It is our aim to educate the interested public about the true nature of the wolf. This is not the wolf of legend and myth, but the wolf that once roamed in substantial numbers the vast expanses from Mexico to Canada, from Spain to Japan, and from Ethiopia to India. In doing so we hope to make a difference in the appreciation of one of the most sophisticated predators that ever graced our planet. We truly believe that wolves have a legitimate right to share earth with us and need our protection. We also believe that our society can learn a lot from their social structures.
Although only comparatively small numbers of wolves are being kept in captivity in South Africa, there appears to be an unproportionally great interest in them. As a result of persistent misconceptions the animals are often kept in less than adequate circumstances or even misused to achieve dubious aims. The subject of wolfdogs presents another range of problems that must be addressed in this context. By providing a local source of information we strive to make a difference both in the level of education of the interested public and the well-being of the animals concerned.
You may still wonder what the benefits for South Africa and its indigenous wildlife may be. Well, the civilisation-induced “problems” associated with free-ranging wolves are not so different from those posing a threat to our smaller predators. The latter include, for example, foxes, jackals and the wild dog, various wild cats, and many other carnivores. Like wolves, these species frequently find themselves faced with shrinking natural habitats and new potential food sources, i.e., livestock, if they don’t happen to be living in protected areas such as nature reserves etc. As a result they may be killed, accidentally or intentionally, in spite of their protected status. By monitoring the efforts to solve these problems for the wolf in the wild we hope to create a database of information that can also be used to improve the chances of survival for these precious South African animals.
A Houseful Headful of Wolves
The Story of two People sharing their Home and Lives with Wolves
A life stranger than fiction. And it all started when Ted and Erin decided to quit Germany and emigrate to South Africa just when the era of Apartheid came to end there. Animal lovers through and through, they eventually ended up sharing their home with a pack of wolves. If this alone were not strange enough, a teacher came into their lives and taught them Animal Communication. Ted took to this like a fish to water and with almost daily training over the years refined his skills to levels he never thought possible – and to dimensions very few people probably know exist.
Ted tells how everything evolved, sharing the joys and dramas of being part of a wolf pack in a domestic setting. He leaves no doubts, however, that this requires a lot of dedication, compromising, and a deep understanding of wolf mentality. He describes in detail the fundamental requirements for such a setup to work and why the “normal” person may be better advised to stick to a dog with wolfish looks rather than the real thing. He also takes a look at the difficult relationship between people and wolves throughout history, and discusses why Animal Communication is a skill everybody is born with, but most will unlearn later in life.
Told as they unfolded, his realizations have the potential of widely expanding the box humans are generally conditioned to think in – both with regard to the wolf as a physical being and as a spiritual entity of immense wisdom.
Ted Ehrhardt (pseudonym) is an author, ghost writer, editor and translator with more than 30 years of experience in various fields of biosciences, at home in the worlds of both scientific literature and fiction.
He is German born but has been living in South Africa for more than 25 years, 17 of which in the company of a pack of wolves.