• Sherri Cassel

What’s your spirit animal?


Lone Wolf - Denali National Park, Alaska - Sherri Camperchioli

 

It’s been decades that I have had an interest in wolves. It’s really a higher calling, a draw, a meant to be connection. Could it be that I had a thing for pointy eared canines when I got my first puppy - a German Shepherd - at age 8? Or even more instilled after seeing “Dances with Wolves” - a LOT. No matter, the fact that I now work in National Parks and see these creatures in the WILD is beyond my wildest imagination! The first time I ever saw a wolf in the wild was in the summer of 2014 in Yellowstone National Park - I will NEVER forget it. In the summer of 2017, in Denali National Park in Alaska, I spotted wolves 29 times. Twenty Nine. There was a time when I never thought I’d see one in my life. Particularly since the wolf has been - and still is - villainized. Society can’t shake the notion of the fabled “Big Bad Wolf”. In fact, the government encouraged the complete extermination of this animal (as well as other species) in the not so distant past, and put them on the brink of extinction because of this false lore. Fortunately, there are pockets where wolves can are living wild and free. Though - STILL - not without controversy. The re-introduction of the species in Yellowstone National Park (where I currently work in the summer of 2018) is a compete success story. Two excellent reads on wolves that I recommend - “Decade of the Wolf” by Douglas W. Smith & Gary Ferguson AND “Wolf Nation” by Brenda Peterson. They’re easy great books, and are full of scientific FACTS proving the wolf is part of a web of life and a needed species to complete an ecosystem. Also, two historic figures that were advocates of wolves and their roles in the world, very early in history, are Aldo Leopold and Adolph Murie. I hope that you can discern for yourselves - with the information and resources I’ve provided - what a beautiful and relevant creature the wolf is to society. The more I know, the more I am sure, this is my spirit animal.


 

Black Wolf - Lamar Valley - Yellowstone - June 2018 - Sherri Camperchioli


Originator of “Downward Dog” - Denali National Park, Alaska - Sherri Camperchioli

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